Remembering what it was like a long time ago, as a child, she looked out over the lake for the first time in day light. She could tell this was going to be a good vacation.
Summer was already in the air. You could smell the familiar smells of morning and camping that were so familiar and comforting. Memories of times past gently recalled with every scent, sound, and quality of the light. A smile came to her lips as she stretched.
To her left, over by the trees a rabbit caught her eye. It was eating calmly gently stepping from morcel of grass to wild flower. He seemed so calm and at peace focusing on what interested him in the moment. She watched him for a while wondering what life would be like for a rabbit in the wild. When a squirrel made its morning chatter as if wanting to wake all the campers hoping for his breakfast too. She saw the rabbit’s white tail flash once and then he was gone in a wild frenzy of self preservation from all the dangers and things he did not understand.
She smiled and felt mixed feelings for the poor rabbit, free to live in the moment and just be, yet always having to be on edge with the fear for its life.
Meanwhile the squirrel, who had made the rabbit scamper off in fear that the sky would come crushing down, had moved on to forage for pine nuts and other treasures.
He saw a large cone that was sure to have something interesting, as he hopped over the pesky needles. Hopping as if each pine needle was poking his feet. He was rather graceful, he thought, as he flew through the air to the next spot getting closer to that ripe cone. Reaching his goal, he picked the cone up in his paws and sniffed. Three was something familiar about this, was it one he had already examined, or was this a new one, had he taken the seeds already and hidden them well in that place? What was that place? He could almost remember where it was. Oh wait there is one seed left, Bonus!. It took some effort but he got it and stored it in his cheek pouch.
He made his graceful hops through the air to a secluded spot that he was sure only he knew. A place where he was safe from others, a place where no one else would go and where his secrets were safe. He looked around to make sure no one was watching and there he placed this latest treasure under a tuft of grass. There it would be safe for when he would need to come back some day and dig it up. He had a feeling that this was not the only thing he had stored in this place. But he did not remember exactly what it was that he had stored here. He didn’t really have tome to think back to what it was that he had hid, or where because he had other things to do just now. He heard the sound of the people in the distance, that meant food, he didn’t understand them exactly, but he knew that sometimes they would stuff him with strange things that he liked the taste. Maybe one day he would stand up to them and demand to be fed like his cousin had done. He had meant to find out what that was like, but he hadn’t seen him for a while now.
She watched the squirrel come towards her, almost looking like it was expecting to be fed. She tossed him a piece of waffle, like she had done years past as a child. He took the scrap and ran back to the tree.
Rabbit had come back out to eat, nibbling on the fresh little saplings that were growing out of the grass around the tree. He watched the squirrel by the the woman and noted how unwise it would be to get that close to something so big on purpose. As Squirrel ran past he paid him no attention because he knew squirrel was going up the tree, and besides squirrel was no match for his strong legs and back claws, no one could match rabbits for strength and speed. Nothing was better than being a rabbit.
She watched and thought how wonderful it would be to spend an eternity watching life. Noticing how every creature has its strengths and its weaknesses and how for eons we’ve made the most of what we have and life has its wonderful moments. And that somehow in ways we do not always understand we all make up a part of something bigger.
She laughed as she heard people walking by and she thought about the rest of her day. What a day it was going to be. She looked out over the lake and smiled like a child feeling the lake for the very first time again.