Why we walk the same path with different expectations

Why did I think elephants in the USA? Because I had once stumbled onto a herd of elephants in the African bush. (photo: Herman Nel, fellow hiker, 1987)

I once walked in fading light along a river trail somewhere in the USA. In the gathering gloom I pushed passed bushes, ducked under branches, and broke free of clinging cobwebs.

How does this description make you feel, amused or apprehensive? Yes, it depends on your past and your experiences. On your history.

At one stage during the walk I turned to my daughter and asked, “What if elephants suddenly come charging through?” Even though she was born in Africa, she rolled her eyes.

Why did I think elephants in the USA? Because I had once stumbled onto a herd of elephants in the African bush. Which is why, to this day, I imagine lions and elephants where none are to be expected.

My history means I imagine very different outcomes from the endings my daughter expects, even though we often walk the same path.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.