Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Finding Zen in A Common Mole

Everyone needs to find their own piece of Zen. For me, I often find it on a quick walk through the grounds of the law office where I work, which features a small duck pond, towering trees, and even the occasional flower. As a full-time office-dweller, sometimes I need to remind myself that I too am a living part of the natural world, more like the mischievous squirrels scurrying outside the window than the dictation machine I hook myself up to all day. There is something mysteriously awe-inspiring about a tiny white mushroom that sprouts up unexpectedly in the grass, or a protective brown maternal duck herding her tiny offspring into the water.

Today, while on my usual stroll, I noted two tiny holes in the flower bed and pondered what creature could be responsible. As I walked by a second time, I glimpsed a brown, fat critter with a pink patch where its eyes should be. As it scurried rather clumsily towards that hole, it appeared to be blinded by the daylight. Later, I noticed piles of fresh dirt all over the grounds. I do believe I spotted a mole!

Why did I run breathlessly back to the office to tell my co-worker about my "wildlife sighting"? To our groundskeeper, a mole may seem a common pest and a silly thing to get excited about. But I couldn't help but feel wonder when I imagined the underground tunnels it was creating and a world unseen by the too-busy humans above. I even envied the animal for its quiet, dark, cool, simple life - most of the time, he's probably just trying to find the next earthworm for dinner. Then back I go to my indoor, air-conditioned, windowless desk and realize we might be more alike than I thought.

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