portrait of The Imaginative Rabbit

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

thoughts from The Imaginative Rabbit

I sit calmly, sip my morning tea, watch the tops of the clover leaves rustle in the breeze, and listen to the laughter of humans in the distance. My maze of the morning perplexes me. I don’t do one everyday, but they do tickle my brain when I get the chance! This one, like many that I find in the forest, is carved into a sick tree. The maze has taken a couple of years to construct, and the cost of construction is the life of this tree. Completing the mazes I find is my way of mourning the tree and gratefully acknowledging its life.

This maze is tough! It’s partially my fault. When I start a maze, I close my eyes and randomly place two tiny clover leaves on distant spots on the tree. These are my “Start” and “Finish” locations in the maze. This time, my random selections have proved challenging.

I am puzzled. And when I get puzzled, I start to pace. I hop from one clover patch to a few dandelions to a selection of intriguing berries on a low branch of a bush. I need to get away from the maze to let my brain think. I hop back after my detour and get my nose right up close to the wood. My whiskers brush the bark and my nose leaves a tiny moist print of condensation on the exposed wood. I can see the maze trails so clearly, but something is missing. I can get to this three-way intersection from the start but then end up looping back the wrong way. What if I take a different turn back here at the two-way intersection? Nope, that wasn’t it either. What about a right turn here? And then a left turn after passing that funny knot in the bark. Ugh, such frustration!

In my frustration, my mind wanders. I see myself entering the maze. . . my long ears shrunken down and pressed back against my head, my hind legs stretched behind me with the furry tops of my toes pressed firmly against the wood, my front feet scrunched up under my chin to claw my way forward through the narrow passage ways of the maze, my narrow nose and keen eyes guide me forward, and my beautiful tail gets covered in tree debris-- oh well! I attempt to scurry like a mouse in its tunnel, but I’m not so graceful in this imagined position, and my fur gets caught on the rough wood.

I imagine a smooth suit of armor over my fur-covered body. It has a vibrant shine and lets me traverse the corridors of this wooden maze with improved agility. I dodge splinters and maneuver turns with ease. My ears are slicked back under a specially designed helmet, and my tail is protected from the excess wear and tear. After back-tracking a few times, I finally find a route that brings me to my second clover leaf. I’ve completed the maze!

Or was the imagined maze of my day dream just a bit easier? As I re-enter reality, I cling to the memory of the path I’ve just taken in my imagined suit of armor as if it’s a dream slipping away at sunrise. I have pieces of it, and I think it’s just enough to finally trace out this maze from clover to clover.

“Emerald Ash Borer - The Arbor Day Foundation.” Accessed December 16, 2020. https://www.arborday.org/trees/health/pests/emerald-ash-borer.cfm.