Friday, August 03, 2007

when nature comes too close

Dewy leaves, soft sunlight, fresh air, and beautiful scenery always hypnotize us. Due to that kind of feeling, we tend to set aside matters that nag our day-to-day sensibilities. When we are close to nature we relax, focus, and meditate.

Relax. Focus. Meditate.
Relax— Focus— Meditate—

1. Relax

May 23, 2007 at exactly 1:30 in the morning, I was watching a late TV show in the living room when boredom finally took over. Reading a book or a magazine to defeat the persisting mild insomnia was the best I could think of. Since everything was so quiet, even the dogs and the cats outside seemed to have taken a sleeping pill, I pulled a newly-bought Reader’s Digest from the shelf and sat cross-legged on my bed. With a big pillow propped behind my back and another on my lap, I started to read.

Just as I was engrossed on an article entitled 10 Questions that Could Save Your Life, an unanticipated visitor came into my midst by 2o’clcok. He was small. There was no denying his smallness since I bowed down a bit to inspect him up close. Well, I also assume he must be a “he”—he looked so much a he to me. As a matter of fact, all frogs look like hes to me. And though the visitor had soft and shiny skin that we regard as a quality of the perfect woman, the rest of the features were definitely masculine: broad shoulders, square jaws, and webbed feet. Webbed Feet? Yes.

Why did he come up to me at this time of night?
What was he doing in my bedroom?

2. Focus

He stood on the checkered blanket that wrapped my feet. On all fours, he crawled towards me in a sneaky way. I tried shooing him away by pulling on the blanket, yet he remained determined. I put the magazine aside and gave him a look: serious, merciless and intimidating. But he stared back at me coldly. Wait. No, not coldly—I believe that beneath those shiny black eyes was a soul full of remorse and wonder.

I gave him another look, but a look of pity. He slowly inched towards me. Without realizing I was already reaching the edge of my bed. I was not aware of myself whether I was scared or timid by his presence but at that moment, he was the center of my attention. He made me question myself whether he was welcome in my bed or not. It was like he was asking for my permission.

I readied myself to jump and upon looking at him, he also had this stance of preparedness like mine. He probably had read my mind! When I jumped off by the side of my bed, he also leaped forward. Finally, he ruled my comfort zone (which was my one and only bed), looking triumphant on top of one of the two pillows. And then he croaked like a dignified being. He croaked? Yes.

How did he get into my room?
Why this perception that he was miserable?

3. Meditate
After three or four shots of him with my handy cell phone, I took a last glance at him and went straight to my mother’s room where I could lie down on the extra bed.
“What are you doing here?” my mother asked me when she noticed me entering the room.
“Hehehe—there’s a frog on my bed,” I replied.

I snugly covered myself up with the warm blanket and thought of him; a creature so bouncy and small. Was he lost and desperately made his way from the unknown regions of this planet to my bedroom?

No. I did not consider him as a lost stranger. For some reason, I believed he meandered into my private adobe for me to realize that something wrong was going on outside our house. Why did he intrude in the first place when he had this expansive swamp in our backyard, tall trees that sprawled around our house, and the rest of his kind chorusing at night-time? Why, with nature’s abundance, had he come confidently onto my cluttered bed?

These questions kept revolving around my head. I shut my eyes and wished I could finally sleep. And in a flash, a realization hit me: Indeed, I rather had a different kind of “closeness” to nature. Tourists and other environment enthusiasts tend to forego modern day pleasures to embrace the greatness of lush forests, and adore the underwater haven or generally kiss nature’s innocent beauty. But in my case, I did not trek crumbly terrains, climb mountains, or swim the depths of the ocean. Nature, instead, came to me. It came at exactly 2 o’clock at dawn. It came to me in an unexpected way, in a very unique form.

Reflecting that night’s very intimate encounter, I just smiled. These days when most people have to appreciate the splendour of natural things through strenuous and costly efforts like hitting high-class resorts and live at villas, I was glad I got the sense of appreciation and love of nature in the form of a frog. He may be an amphibian but the insight I got was very humane.

I will remember this forever.

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