Thursday, May 26, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

How a rabbit thought me to focus

I work in a semi industrial area. As a result there is not a lot of foot traffic, even though there are several large office buildings and neatly trimmed lawns and hedges in the area. Every morning and afternoon I walk for about 50 minutes through this ghost town to get to the train station.

It is a strange feeling sometimes to know that there are thousands of people working in the same small area, but I hardly ever see anybody else on my daily walks. Every now and then someone zooms by in their car or a delivery truck rumbles by, but for the most part I have a long stretch of manicured greenery to myself.

I used to find this walk tedious and a chore. Sure, it's great exercise, but it can get boring walking up and down the same dead streets every day. Today, I get great joy from this same daily walk. Ever since I discovered a cotton-tail rabbit sprinting across the street I have found new interest in the landscape I used to find deserted.

As it turns out, the cotton-tail I saw was no stray visitor. As I started to pay closer attention on my walks I soon realized that the lush greenery the many companies along my walk keep was feeding several families of rabbits. In fact, long sections of my walk is teeming with rabbits young and old. Now, a cotton-tail rabbit is by no means what I consider an exotic animal. There's no real surprise to find rabbits in Southern California, but the impressive numbers in the middle of a fairly urban environment interested me. How could I have walked by this vivid colony of little creatures and not even notice?

The more I started looking for rabbits, the more I would see. They were hiding in the bushes, crouching in the grass and going about their rabbit business. My joy was great when I discovered a batch of baby rabbits this spring. Not only where they unbearably cute, but knowing that my new rabbit friends were thriving in the bushes around corporate office buildings made me happy. I have fun seeing how fast the kids have grown up, the adorable and sky tennis ball sized babies have now grown to awkward teenager size. I love seeing where they run for cover when they decide I am getting too close for comfort. I celebrate with the tribe when one brave rabbit is the first to conquer a new and previously unclaimed patch of grass. I also enjoy my new ability to spot a pair of rabbit ears sticking up from the grass at considerable distance.

My increased interest in the wildlife along the way to the train has made the walk a lot more enjoyable. With an interest in how the rabbit population acts and expand their territory I now look forward to a part of my day that used to be a chore. It's not all rose red though. I now have to worry when the fat stray cat in the area takes a nap in the drain pipe right by the main grazing fields, and one day I found one of the rabbits in the street, killed by a car. A hard blow it was, but for the most part, following this band of rabbits adds nothing but fun and joy to my day.

Every day for a few minutes I get to take part in this rabbit world. Of the thousands of people in the same area, I am pretty sure I am the only one who even notices this daily drama. I myself didn't realize what a treasure chest of fun I was walking straight past every day until I really started looking. This fact started me thinking: How many opportunities like this do I pass up in my life by not looking for them close enough? What other areas of growth or potential do I simply not register as I hasten past? To see all the opportunities that are present to us, we have to slow our minds down and stay present. We need to look for things that have value for us where we don't expect it. If we focus only on the things that are right in front of our face we run a very real risk of missing the truely sublime.

What will your rabbit family be?

  1. Anonymous

    lovely, lovely. thank you.

  1. Anonymous

    A great story about finding joy, thanks!

    I had a similar experience when I used to commute to work in Washington DC on the subway. I'd arrive at a huge above-ground waiting area, and the standing-doing-nothing seemed interminable. I began to notice the sparrows who had made homes in the roof. They were noisy and cheerful, flying around up above and among us, continually. And so funny! I began to laugh at them, and suddenly life seemed much different. Instead of drudgery, the time spent watching them was a joy. Oddly, no one else watched; in fact, they seemed to go out of their way not to see the birds. I tried to keep my laughter and silly grins to myself, though now, being older and less dignified, I think I wouldn't bother.

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