Six years is the natural lifespan of a chipmunk. But most chipmunks don't live that long due to predators, disease, and automobiles.
Seventy-Eight years is the average lifespan of an American.
Life is precious regardless of how many years you've got, but Living is what we live for. From the moment you raise the kickstand, twist the throttle, and put your feet on the pegs, you start living.
Riding down Montezuma Road (San Diego County S3), a chipmunk sprints across in front of me, and manages to escape death by about 5 feet.
And that might raise the question why a chipmunk would run across a road so close to an on-coming vehicle. Don't chipmunks ever see vehicles coming at them? Do they think it's fun to dodge motorcycles? Do they play the same games with bobcats and hawks?
And how interesting is it that I don't even bother to slow down or swerve when seeing a darting chipmunk?
|Motorcycles on Montezuma Road, San Diego County, CA|
As Montezuma Road descends from Pinyon Ridge through a series of tight turns and switchbacks, I'm simply not going to break my rhythm for some little rodent that's already destined to become dinner for a rattlesnake.
Now if a deer jumped out at me that might be a different story. But a chipmunk? No.
Maybe the chipmunk couldn't care any less about me and hence why it jumps out on the road while I'm coming at him. Maybe it just doesn't perceive a vehicle as a natural predator. Or maybe chipmunks really do play games with motorcycles.
But perhaps because a chipmunk's life is already so short it has managed to accomplish all it cares to accomplish in just a year or two. And from my point of view, running over a chipmunk won't be any different than the last several chipmunks I ran over.
For me life seems to be about living, and right now that's about riding my motorcycle and seeing the country. For the chipmunk, maybe now that the kids have moved out, living is about playing games with motorcycles.