We shared the ninth hole at the golf course with this little fellow and his sibling the other evening. As usual when I spy a wild creature, I seem to lose all but 6 years of my age — and I feel as though I might burst with the awesomeness of that encounter. That raccoon could have been a dragon, and I’d be no less in awe.
I hope it’s ever so. May I always run to the window whenever Charlie nonchalantly says, “there’s a deer in the backyard eating apples.” And sit long past a deadline on the front stoop to watch the weaving and playing of squirrels for as long as they choose to grace my trees. And find pure joy in each bird that lights at the feeder, each groundhog that lumbers awkwardly up my tree to thieve apples, and each waddling skunk that leads her tiny brood across my front steps (although that one is OK from a distance).
If that makes me childlike, even for a moment, I’m fine with it. I should rather be so than to be too much an adult. Last night drove home the reason why: when I encountered the raccoon brothers, Charlie and I happily derailed the golf game for 10 minutes as we watched them climb and gaze back at us just as inquisitively as we watched them. As we finally puttered off in the golf cart, the pleasure of that simple encounter lingered. Dropping worldly ways in favor of childlike ways infused my evening with a residual joy that yet continues. It was mindful living at its best.
Even today I smile in remembrance. So why would I be satisfied with anything less?