You may be asking yourself why simple Wood Frog would be inspiring. Is it his song? Or his cute little face? (He is a handsome frog.) It cannot be his swimming skills for he swims little and is a child of the wet woodlands, often hopping about in the leaf litter of the forest. But he (or she) can do something extraordinary – he can freeze two-thirds of his body and pop back to life when the rays of a spring sun warm his body. No harm, no foul.
You have to admit it is a pretty cool trick. One that has not gone unnoticed by our scientific community. Various research facilities have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours to discover Wood Frog’s secret as it may lead to all manner of benefits to us humans, including ‘freezing’ the dying until a cure of disease is found and possibly bringing cryogenics into play. I’m quite sure someone out there in the world of science is eyeballing the possibility of, someday, not even dying – to live forever. At least forever in our physical bodies.
But, consider this. Rather than spending copious amounts of resources on extending life in cryogenic freeze, would we not be better served by using these same resources and focus on teaching us how to better enjoy the life we have been granted? Direct our attention not to dying but to living- reminding ourselves of the beauty of the day whether that day brings sun or rain or the glory of the thousands of blessings we stand in, but take for granted. The knowledge and knowing that it is not the length of life but how our lives are lived that matters. To propagate kindness to our neighbor, gentleness to all living Beings and understanding to those who are different from ourselves, to find joy in the present and not concern ourselves with a future not yet born creates not only one happy life but ripples out to make many other lives joyful. And that makes the world a better place to live, maybe a life is not as long, but certainly more worth living.
It is the quality of our lives that makes us smile, laugh and love, not quantity.
Maybe handsome Wood Frog has found a way to have both, maybe we will too. But until then, it might be better to focus on where we are standing, rather than how long we stand.
Not a bad inspiration from a cute little amphibian.
Ah, yes! The three walled, remove your shoes please, don’t leave without an escort, dipped in darkness by 9:15pm lodge deep in the Amazon Rainforest.
Let me draw you a picture.
Our room had three walls. The walls were thatching, the ceiling the same. The walls between rooms were also thatching. This made the walls thin, with a capital ‘T’. Everything that happened in one room was up for review in every other room. Privacy was something left on the canoe that brought us here. Now in the brochure, it had, at a number of points, reminded readers that there were only three walls in the rooms. The third wall was open. Not open by way of a window or screen, but open in every sense of the word. Open in the sense of, ‘Why hello there Mr. Monkey’…as he sits on our luggage. (This is, I’m guessing, why the suggestion of no snacks in the room would be a great idea. Previous guests in the thin walled lodge have been awakened by screams of hysteria because said monkey made himself at home and rummaged through, not only snacks, but also carried off plane tickets and passports.) The non-wall did have railing though, which made a nice visual ‘safety net’ so that we could, if pressed, pretend the railing would keep unwanted visitors on the other side.
It all sounded grand…in writing…but standing there with our backpacks, looking out at the dark, dark jungle through the non-wall in the limited light thrown by the lanterns, there was a realization absolutely nothing was between our beds and all of God’s beautiful wild Creation…which is how I was elected to take the bed closest to the non-wall. (After all, I am an animal communicator and as such, the reasoning was I could talk my way out of a visitation.) But we had asked the Universe for an adventure and while it did give us a moment’s pause to be exposed to not only the wild but also our own imagination, we embraced this absurd situation. It was, in fact, what we had wanted.
But no time to worry now, it was 6:00pm - suppertime…and we didn’t want to be late because of the ‘rule’. (See The Absurdity of a Jungle Lodge Part 1.) So we left for the dining room, i.e. the completely open, thatched roofed lodge, to meet the other guests. Habitually, we locked the door to the room on our leave, looked at each other, and began laughing. How absurd is it to lock a room that only has three walls - thatched walls – not to mention that we are to leave our key in a basket on the bar so that everyone has apparent access to not only our room (with three walls) but also the safe key (clearly marked on said keyring)?
For the next four days, life was going to be absurd.
Nothing between you and the night. And the animals of the night. And trusting the cultural mix of people that share the space to do you no harm. To live with all the Beings that grace this place in peace and joy.
Deep in the Amazon lies a lodge – where one must simply forget fear and old lessons and embrace whatever comes through door. Or wall.