I used to have an electric fence around the perimeter of my property. I installed it to keep my dogs enclosed. The dogs wore a collar, with a sensor embedded, that worked in tandem with the receiver of the underground fence. As the dogs approached the boundaries of the fence, a slow beeping would occur, producing a warning. The closer the dogs came to the fence, the faster the beep. If the dog crossed the threshold, a shock would be initiated through the collar. The fence itself was rather uninteresting, but how the dogs responded to the system was worth noting.
I had two dogs, one was a very small Daschund, named Womack (after the great Mississippi State offensive lineman, “Pork Chop” Womack), and the other was a bigass Akita, named Maggie (from the Simpsons). Within about a month of installing the underground fence, both of the dogs were aware of the boundaries. Whenever a car would approach the house, or something piqued their interest, they would sprint right up to within about ten feet of the boundary and stop. There were usually no beeps or warnings necessary from the dog’s collars; they knew where the line had been drawn.
Womack would not even approach the boundary. Under no circumstance was that dog going to risk the chance off being zapped by that collar. He would not even get close enough to allow it to beep. As a matter of fact, the collar became unnecessary. There was a belief system so strong instilled inside of Womack, that he would not step outside of the invisible fence, even when there was nothing around his neck to shock him.
Maggie took a different approach. She was a good dog who stayed around the house most of the time. However, at different times throughout the year, usually in the Fall and Winter, when the scents are the strongest and the nocturnal animals are the most active (I made that up. I don’t know anything about seasonal scents or nocturnal animal behavior), Maggie would cross the boundary of the electric fence.
As I would be leaving the house for work, I would see Maggie, crouched down on the other side of the fence, wanting to get back home, but too afraid of the shock. She would be completely covered in mud, cockleburs, and whatever else she could find. Sometimes, she would jump that fence, every day, for a week at a time; other times, she wouldn’t jump for six or seven months. There was clearly something outside of Maggie’s boundaries that she found exciting enough to be willing to endure the discomfort in exchange for whatever adventure was waiting for her outside of her pre-defined boundaries.
Maggie had to see what was on the other end of that fence-line. The feeling was simply too strong. She knew there were consequences, but she also knew there were adventure and freedom.
I think we all have a bit of Womack mixed in with some Maggie. We have self-imposed boundaries that we stay within because we know that there is less chance of being shocked or experiencing discomfort if we stay where it is familiar. There is nothing wrong with playing it safe or keeping close to home. However, when that feeling hits and the weather is just right; when the smell on the other side of the fence is so strong that you are compelled to jump the line- sometimes you gotta jump.
We have a built-in longing for exploration. There is a need to establish new boundaries. There is so much to be learned on the other side of the fence.
Sure, you might get muddy, wet, a little beat up, and wind up with a few cockleburs in your coat, but you can always crawl back to within your safe parameters until the scent hits you and it’s time to strike out again.
Establish new boundaries.
Close your eyes. Jump into something new. There is an entire world to be explored.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,