Today an unexpected visitor arrived in my backyard. I live in a bustling little town surrounded by highways, so I was a bit surprised to see a deer outside my kitchen window. She didn’t stay long and I don’t know where she went next, but I certainly enjoyed her presence while she was here (I know deer are common “pests” in some areas, uprooting gardens and the like, but for me an occasional visit from the wildlife world is a pleasure). In the past few months I’ve also seen woodchucks and an opossum in my backyard as well as--indoors--an uncanny number of kitchen ants (these, I will admit, I’m not overly fond of). Moths and butterflies are common this spring, as well as the occasional stray cat.
“Sharing” my house and backyard with animals and insects can be annoying (I won’t go into the details of the spider I found crawling up my leg in my bed one night). Or the squirrel that had settled into my attic (we found him another home). I remember a friend once saying when we first bought our house that we needed to “bring the outside in.” I think she was talking interior decorating with sunlight and plants, not rodents.
In any case, it seems that all these visitors—some wanted, some unwanted—have been giving me a message of late. And if we can’t share our space with an occasional mouse or fly, how are we expected to share with other human beings? (Who can be just as messy, destructive and irritating as the aforementioned squirrel, if you ask me.)
It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that this planet is just as much mine as a spider’s or to think that I “deserve” a better, brighter, roomier space than say a bear, or a deer or a bumble bee. It’s not really true, though. The deer in my backyard today reminded me of the fact that we are all in this together, and whether we sink or swim depends a lot on how well we can get along with one another.
I’ll be the first to admit that certain crawly creatures (and some flying ones, such as bats) really push my buttons. But without them where would we be? The animals and insects that have entered my life recently just seem to be reminders that we are all essential parts of a Divinely-inspired universe—whether we walk, crawl, swim, fly, gallop or dance our way through life.