Fox and Friends

In these days of mask-wearing and social-distancing, I marvel at how the natural world continues on its steady, abiding, sustaining course. Buds burst, bulbs push up through the earth. The sun warms; the rains come; the night wind blows, mysterious as always; and the grass slowly greens up.

It reminds me of times when I’ve experienced a life-changing loss. My world feels shattered. Yet I look around and life carries on around me as if nothing had happened — as if nothing had changed. It’s a jarring experience, and a lonely one.

Here, now we’re in the midst of a shared, human experience of separation, fear, and deep dislocation. It’s at once an individual and a communal experience. All of humankind is touched. And yet the earth and all the rest of her occupants carry on as if nothing has changed. (And yes, the dogs are overjoyed. But the cats are definitely annoyed.)

And the earth herself? Well, she seems to be thriving as human activity has ground to a halt worldwide. Carbon emissions are down but there’s no guarantee they’ll stay that way. In fact, if we look at history, they usually go even higher once whatever has shut them down gets resolved (e.g. WW II). Still, one can see hope here. And with an election coming, there’s the additional hope that we put leaders in place who are capable of long-range thinking about sustainability.

Here in my little world, I was on the edge of my seat watching Maddow while the pink supermoon rose, and the clouds pretty thoroughly diffused its light. The rhubarb churns up through the ground as it always does, looking wild and a bit out of control and also, just so enhuberantly hopeful.

But the very best thing was seeing, on Monday a fox who’s been a frequent visitor, peering around the back corner of the garden shed. She’s a beauty, the color of reddish, sunlit honey with a gloriously bushy tail. As she stepped out into the light we saw, trailing behind her, four (or maybe even five) little earth-toned kits! They tumbled and played in the grass and looked to be about the size of guinea pigs.

Off and on, we watched them through the day. Mama would go off into the underbrush at the edge of the field, or over into the neighbor’s field, hunting for mice (we’re guessing). I had the best view from my room, and was thoroughly distracted, as the little ones gamboled about near the shed and Mama ran back and forth, ever-vigilent.

Yesterday I was at work, but the report was that there were no fox sightings. Now we’re wondering if Monday was a magical aberration, or if we’ll get to watch these kits grow up (as we’d been hoping). Either way, I take the sighting as just one of the strange gifts of this coronavirus era. As our worlds shrink, they also expand in unexpected ways.

Zoom meetings and smiles from strangers help as we navigate our strange new terrain. And ‘fox and friends’ takes on a happy new meaning for me, signifying resilience and hope, even here, even now.

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5 Responses to Fox and Friends

  1. nyeanh says:

    What a gift–to not only be visited by a fox but the family as well. And what a gift to read your blog this morning–full of beautiful details of life on your hill. I I hope you will let us know if the fox family returns.

    Like

  2. Katie says:

    I’m so jealous of your fox and friends sighting! How awesome — I hope they come back soon!

    Right before everything started shutting down, a bunny showed up in our backyard. Clearly domesticated and so cute! I put out some food for him and he disappeared for a week and then came back. He was back and forth since then – hanging out a day or two, gone a day or two. He’s very interested in our angora bunny and would hang out in her shed, jumping on her cage, and giving her kisses through the wires.

    I’m embarrassed to say that I caught him and put him our extra bunny cage because I was so worried about what was happening to him! I was certain he’d been eaten by a fox on the days that he’d disappear. He’s very sweet so he obviously belongs to (or used to belong to) someone. I’m going to put something up in our local newsvine about a found bunny, but worry that people will only respond so that they can eat him (which is what my dad would do). I feel bad keeping him trapped though!! Do you think I should let him go?

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    • Oh wow, that’s a BIG conundrum. The only thing I can think of is to put out minimal information about him and ask whoever responds to describe their bunny so you know they’re legit. And honestly, since it’s been so long, I wonder if his owner either let him loose on purpose (which is just awful) or is no longer around? I kinda think you have a new bunny, Katie! But you’ll need to put the word out so you can put your mind at ease. Oh, and fingers crossed re. the foxes! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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