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Interview: Richard Monro

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s  stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Today’s interviewee is writer Richard Monro.

RichardMonroWhat have you been wonderstruck by recently?

This past spring I was wonderstruck by the altruistic interaction of the different creatures that inhabit this magnificent planet. In this case, the interaction involved a hummingbird, a baby wren and me.

During the many beautiful afternoon days we have here in Arizona, I like to work in my backyard or sit on my patio and read. One day while trimming my trees, I noticed a diminutive hummingbird nest with two tiny eggs. It was located just below eye level on a branch I was about to trim. Forgoing that planned action, I became an observer. Over the days that followed the mama hummingbird and I developed a relationship. She must have realized I meant no harm, and eventually let me approach within eighteen inches of her as she sat on her nest.

RichardMonro-HummingbirdShe made me her protector. Anytime I was outside and a predatory bird was perched nearby, she would start chittering at me. Once I spied her cause of alarm, I would chase the offending bird away whereby mama hummingbird would settle quietly back onto her nest.

One afternoon while I was comfortably ensconced in my reclining patio chair reading a new book, the hummingbird flew into my face chittering vociferously.When she caught my attention, she flew several feet away and dove into a very large planter containing a Gardenia bush. I thought this behavior quite strange, and finally after several repeated exhibitions of this behavior, I got up to take a look. Looking carefully into the planter where the hummingbird had repeatedly dived in, I found a baby wren barely covered in pin feathers. It had obviously fallen out of the nest built on my speaker located six feet above the planter.

Mama hummingbird's obvious concern for the plight of this baby bird of an unrelated species astounded me. After carefully placing the baby wren back into the nest from which it had fallen, mama hummingbird peacefully settled and went back to feeding her own two young nestlings. I returned to my recliner in awe of the wonder I had just experienced.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

I am an early riser typically waking at 3 AM, bright eyed, bushy tailed, and raring to go (much to the dismay of my wife). I am more creative and productive in the five hours between 3 AM and 8 AM than for the entire rest of the day. This high-energy, contemplative time of the day when the house is quiet is a blessing for me. However, the time of day for which I am most grateful starts around 6 PM every day. My wife and I stop the activities in which we are involved and take time to be with each other. Our topics of conversation are expansive and frequently deeply personal. It is a time of connection, sharing, beauty and peace.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

My biorhythm hits rock bottom each day between 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM. My mind fogs and my body demands to be shut down. I can force myself to slog through this abysmal time, but whenever possible, I take a power nap lasting from 15 to 30 minutes. The sonic boom people hear around this time are my eyelids slamming shut.

What do you wish you are more conscious of?

It seems like everyone I run into has a personal issue they are struggling with but remain silent about. I can't help everyone. However, I can extend my hand of help and loving kindness to friends and family. Therefore, I want to be more conscious of the little visible facial expressions or that special look in someone's eyes that signals they could use a listening ear. Now, when someone replies, "I am okay" to my general greeting, "How are you?", I look at them carefully. If the stress signals are there, I quickly respond and ask, "Now tell me how you are really feeling?" The answers are surprising, and the person I am talking to is usually grateful that someone cared enough to ask.

How do you stay truly focused on what is important to you?

Having always been a very focused person, I find that staying on task is easy. However, getting started is sometimes the hard part. When I find myself procrastinating, a prioritized list usually comes to the rescue.

More about Richard Monro:

RichardMonro-CheatingDeathI am an ordinary man who has led a rather extraordinarily life. For too long a period of my life and for too many times, death dogged my footsteps and almost caught me. This rather bizarre life journey resulted in my memoir, Cheating Death-an Extreme Memoir. This book was published on Amazon last year as an e-book.

Fortunately, life is much more sedate now. I'm blessed with an extraordinary wife and two grown children that make up the nucleus of our close-knit family.

I am currently wrestling with a novel tentatively titled, Spider Master. It has been through more twists and turns than a ball of twine. I know what the ending will be, but the journey there is still evolving.

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  1. What a fascinating story about the hummingbird, Richard. Truly amazing. So glad you shared it.

  2. Richard, you are a. very open, aware, and kind spirit. Which is why the hummingbird connected with you and trusted you at that level. I am constantly amazed by the intelligence of nature and it's creatures. Your story wonderstruck my week!

  3. Amazing story about the hummingbird! I find those tiny birds amazing enough by themselves, let alone when they demonstrate such intelligence. Your story also reminded me of my own wonderstruck experience, shared on this blog last year. Mine was not quite as mind-blowing, but did involve a nest with baby birds. :-)

  4. Elizabeth, thanks for your very kind words. I'm happy your week has been wonderstruck. We all need more weeks like that.

  5. Ellen, there is another amazing interaction between our feathered friends that I witnessed. A baby wood pecker that was lost and wandering around my backyard was fed for two weeks by a beautiful bright red cardinal until the baby finally started to fly on its own. Humans are not the only creatures that can show compassion. By the way, I really liked your wonderstruck experience.

  6. Tami, Elizabeth, and Ellen - Thank you for taking the time to comment. The hummingbird story is amazing, isn't it?

    Richard - Thank you for being a guest in my Wonderstruck Interview series!

  7. Sherri, it has been my pleasure to be part of the wonderstruck series. Thank you for the invite.


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