Cuddling Not Suggested
It was just another day amongst the days of my life—just another morning amongst the mornings of my life. I walk, I pray, I abide my humble yoga practice, I meditate, I eat and dash (no matter how early I wake, always that last-minute dash) out the door, heading toward work, our series of substandard dirt roads leading me toward the paved road, taking me up toward Swamp Road, our main artery of concrete transport.
The morning sun is playing off my car window, tickling me with the promise of warmth. Early autumn has erupted, the trees beginning their mad dash toward their mind-blowing glory. I’m happily comfortable inside my wool jacket, the cool temperatures still novel and embracing.
And up ahead, just past the beaver dam, I squint at the road. I see three tiny little animal figures crossing the road, in a perfectly regimented line. Sweet little ducks, I imagine, from left to right, they march in single file behind their sibling leader. Wait, they aren’t ducks…..are they cats? Close enough to see more clearly, I slow the car down.
No little kitties are these, but baby bobcats! The positivity of my knowing slams into me as a physical reaction, twinging the hairs around my neck and pulsing down my spine. Last summer I biked upon a possible adult relative; she was coming out of one of the newly plowed fields. She stopped and looked at me with eyes that were wild and clear and deep and totally unimpressed with my humanity. I breathlessly yielded to her brilliance in awed stillness as she sauntered away, muscles rippling with confidence and ultimate, silent rhythm.
Today I am filled with that awe-filled wonder again. These little guys have the same rippling shoulder muscles, tufted and pointed black ears; their presence does not call out, “Come and cuddle with me”, as we are so use to with our animal companions. No, their presence says, in silent domination, fully aware of their place:
I am of the wild. I am of the mystery.
I am the wild; I am the mystery.
This is my place upon which you walk and drive and live.
Do not even consider messing with me.
I am one with This, All, in ways you, ms. human, can never comprehend.
Their third sibling, impacted by the presence of my car, turns and dashes back to the brush on the left, while his siblings make their way fearlessly across the road, now absorbed into the bushes on the right. I have a flash of codependent concern about this potentially weaker of the siblings, yet recognize I have no influence here; I have no potential impact. It is just not my business.
With my head shaking in wonder, I gradually accelerate and continue along, as the car slowly purrs up the hill to turn onto Swamp. Such mystery—so close—in every breath, there the natural world throbs with life. How easy to forget upon where we walk—how remarkable to be blessed with such a morning reminder.
Dear friends, let’s keep our eyes and hearts open this week. No matter the amount of concrete around us, no matter how habitual our day, let’s notice and breathe. What messengers from the natural world are calling for our attention? What forms does the Mystery around you take? As usual, please keep me posted. I am firstname.lastname@example.org.