I hadn’t been to the frog pond for weeks. This evening after a long day at work, I realized I was free to go and visit Sog. It had been so long, I wondered if he would remember me, and would I recognize him.
The path last remembered as lush, and muddy, now stretched like a dry yawn of cracked white earth in the irritating angle of four o’clock sun. Disheartened I slowed my pace. The pond could be dried up for all I knew. I heard the frogs before I saw them. Their rhythmic melody encouraged me to call out, Hello.
A second of silence, then jubilant, I dare say, frog voices responded to me. Several frogs emerged from the murky and near stagnant pond. They gazed at me through silky slimed eyes. I stood on the bank looking around and pretending that I wasn’t seeking Sog.
I will not think of the worst. I won’t panic and wonder how I will manage to walk home without spotting him. I distracted myself by collecting pebbles and tossing them into the pond to create a ripple.
The gentle breeze stirred itself into gusty dust and swirled my hair around my head and over my eyes. I closed my eyes only to open them when the gritty ground swirled in a wave across my face.
After lots of blinking and eye rubbing, I leaned over the pond and splashed some water on my T-shirt to wipe my eyes. If it was good enough for frogs, it was good enough for me. By the time I could see again, Sog squatted only a few feet away at the edge of the pond. He turned his eyeballs around and blinked as if he was showing me the proper way to clean dirt from your eyes.
And as I watched him watching me, I realized that this simple creature had wisdom beyond mine. Maybe they all do, the creatures of the earth. There were no cell phones ringing at the frog pond. . . nobody croaking that they couldn’t log on to the internet or that their job sucked. No muddy frog cars parked along the bank or anyone rushing across lily pads to get to the bank and make a deposit, or grab cash from the ATM, so they could buy dinner and drinks, and drown their sorrows and fears.
For all of our resources and inventiveness, our busy lives and complicated relationships, are we doing what we want, finding what we need? It all comes down to the same thing. We need to eat. That’s what started it all.