portrait of The Imaginative Rabbit

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

thoughts from The Imaginative Rabbit

Light purple petals are accented with elegant darker lines. The lines thin toward the outer edge of each petal as if drawn with a calligraphy pen. The petals merge in a pale center where purple fades to white and white transitions to yellow. Several of these delicate flowers nimbly balance atop thin stems that could collapse with one step of my paw. The flowers are so enticing in their beauty that I pause from my twilight search for tender grasses and dandelions to poke my nose into the tranquility of this blossom.

To my surprise, this is no ordinary flower! I can smell a distant land-- one full of unfamiliar spices that waft through the air. Fresh baked breads, pungent grilled delicacies, and freshly picked spice leaves fill my young nose. These are not smells native to my forest, but I dive deeper . . .

Another flower sways in the wind, bumping into my curious ear. To my delight, I hear the bustle of an outdoor market! People exclaim their happiness as treats are passed around. I hear the sizzle of hot oil in a pan and the dripping sweat of a chef who expertly serves the grumbling stomachs of eager customers.

These two flowers stimulate my ears and nose with such potency that I stumble sideways. My awkward hind foot lands on a leaf, but I don’t feel earth beneath my paw. Instead, I find myself resting on smooth stone heated quite warm under a summer sun. I take in this new feeling and notice there are two flat stones beneath my foot. They are placed close, and the crack between them is filled with dirt and crumbs of dropped breads.

My sense are alive with intrigue and curiosity! But they are also taxed by this abundance of new-ness. Where did this flower take me?! The experience reminds me of life after leaving the den only a few weeks ago. So much to take in, so much to learn, so much to appreciate. As the season progresses, I find that much of my new learning has actually replaced what I initially thought I knew. I hope this cycle of learning, un-learning, re-learning, and poking my nose into beautiful flowers never ends!

“Eastern Cottontail | Adirondack Ecological Center | SUNY ESF | College of Environmental Science and Forestry.” Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.esf.edu/aec/adks/mammals/cottontail.htm.

Elbroch, Mark. “Family Leporidae: Hares and Rabbits.” In Mammal Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species, 2nd ed., 386–89. Stackpole Books, 2019.