Finding the Way

Finding the Way

Life is change. It isn’t always easy and sometimes we aren’t prepared for the challenges that it offers. Heck, the older you get, sometimes just getting out of bed is an effort. Most of us set goals for ourselves that we want to achieve. Face it: We want what we want out of life but we don’t always get it and we wonder why. We lose our way.


Most of the time achieving these goals means moving forward and change. It means that you have to leave the comfort of what you have established. Even if that establishment (insert other words, i.e., jobs, relationships, poor health, mind-set) is a pile of doo-doo and you know it. I heard the author Neale Donald Walsch make this next reference and it made sense; we all do(o) it.

We create piles of it and then when we are sitting on top of our mountain of stink, we sniff the air and say, “What am I doing here? How did this happen?”

If it stinks badly enough, we climb down and run off to a new goal, a new conquest (job, lover, etc). And unless we have learned (created a different mind-set) from our previous mistakes, we start creating a new pile. Just in a different place/time.

Sounds negative, right? It may or may not be depending on how you look at it. Yes, from a negative viewpoint: nobody wants to look a pile of crap and admit that they created it much less clean it up. But from a positive viewpoint: If you don’t like what you are creating, then stop. The first step is to become aware of what you are do(o)ing. Look at what life is presenting to you.

Racoon guide

I know you’re thinking: Okay, so what’s the point? What am I doing here? Is reading this post going to make my life better somehow? Just give me the answer and let me move onto to the next website please. And what does a raccoon in an orange jacket have to do with any of this?

Symbols; a thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract. That’s the answer.


Life shows us the way through symbols especially in our dreams. But they are there in waking reality too. If you just open your eyes and look for them.

So raccoons and life. Here’s my story.

My son came home from college one day last quarter and told me this story. He was on campus and traversing up a somewhat remote walking path situated above some buildings when all of a sudden a large raccoon appeared at one side of it. My son stopped as the raccoon spotted him. My son assumed the raccoon was a male- mostly likely the raccoon was a he (a leader anyway) as “he” stood up on his hind legs and puffed out his chest. He looked behind him and then stared back at my son. My son watched as a gaze (had to perform an internet search to find that term) of raccoons trooped across the walkway and jumped onto the roof of a nearby building. The sentry maintained his position and stance the entire time. He kept one eye on his companions and one eye on my son. When the last little one was safely on the roof, the raccoon puffed out his chest a little farther, gave my son another defiant look and then calmly walked over, jumped onto the roof and disappeared with the others. My son ended his story with this thought: “I just got flexed on by a raccoon.”

So what does that mean, Fremont? Initially, I didn’t give it much thought either other than, “Aw, cute raccoon story- An animal demonstrating leadership: Doing the job of showing the way, watching out for others, making sure they are taken care of…” Then a couple of days later, a friend of mine shows up on Facebook with an orphaned baby raccoon in her arms. She was fostering (taking care of) it before releasing it back into the wild. See photo above.

Then as if to drive the point home, in my research for my next novel, I came across some symbolic meanings of raccoon: Finding a way to one’s goals; being inventive; ingenuity.

Other synonyms of ingenuity: imagination and perception. What is perception but : A gaze. Taking a good look at. What do you remember most about raccoons? Their eyes.

What I took away from this crossing guard raccoon life lesson about finding the way to your goals (getting what you want out of life): Being watchful and taking care of what you have now (including others in “your current gaze”) but keeping one eye on the future.


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About J Fremont

Author/veterinarian J. Fremont has created Magician of Light, a novel about famed glassmaker Rene Laliqué. Exercise your imagination. Enjoy!