Mar 29, 2019
Imagine that you are a young child and you have found the most amazing creature while exploring your yard. It is a shiny green frog, delicate and small and oh so cute. You can tell that it is magical and special because it is no ordinary frog… its colors are so vibrant! You recognize that it has somehow found itself in a place that you know is unsafe. Perhaps it is in the garden where there are harsh chemicals or in the driveway where it will be crushed or near the cat that will surely torture it. You are concerned and look around for a safe place to put it but finding none in the immediate area, you gently pick it up thinking you will find a safe place for it right away. As young child, you were as careful as you can be in picking it up, trying not to squeeze too tight so you carry this frog around in your hands with a little room between your fingers for it to breathe. You talk to it, feel the tickle of it on your skin, look at it closer to fully explore the beauty and majesty of it and you want to show it off to others who will see how amazing it is.
You run from the place you found it, gingerly bringing this tiny miracle to new environments. In each place you go, there is some element of that space that is unsafe to your little friend. You resist putting it down on that leaf, near those leaves, on that log because your experience tells you there are predators and challenges that have vast potential to injure your beautiful new friend. It simply isn’t safe yet. And it is your job to ensure safe passage.
You go inside the house thinking “maybe I can get a box or a dish and put it in there – keep it safe in the house and then I can feed it and care for it and have a friend”. You get inside and realize that if you show it to these people you live with, they may hurt it. It isn’t much safer inside than out. They don’t fully see the beauty in frogs. Mom may shriek that you brought that sticky gooey thing inside! Dad may think it’s cool but he won’t see how pretty it is. As you hide the frog in one hand, you grab a bowl and hide in the corner intending to transfer your buddy there. You are nervous as your little friend is moving about in your hand.
The frog is completely freaked out. It starts jumping from your palm, against your fingers. You can feel the pumping of its tiny heart against your skin. You try to speak to it, tell it “you are fine. I am going to protect you”. It tries to push against your fingers with its nose trying to get between the bars of this meaty cage. You squeeze tighter knowing that if it jumps from this height, it’s going to hurt itself, land on the floor and break its little body. You can’t have that. You have to get it out of here and fast. You quickly kneel down, struggling to get the bowl set on the floor and your delicate friend safely inside. You bobble the bowl, then the frog, then half open your hand to let the little friend get into the container and NO! The frog jumps in entirely the wrong direction landing with a thud or a splat of the floor. You are panicked. Is it ok? Knowing it can’t stay here, you scramble with your tiny young hands to catch it again. You squeeze a little too hard! Oh no! Is it ok? You open your hands again to peek and can tell it is about to jump again. Ack! You must get it in the bowl and to a safer place!
The frog jumps into thin air on a trajectory meant for liberation. It is running for its life. It has no idea you mean it no harm, intend to place it safely in a new space and think it is amazing. To the frog, you are the scariest alien it has ever seen and you keep squishing it and then locking it in a cage. It must get out of here! Life depends on it! It rails against your hands, jumping and stretching and banging its tiny fragile body against you at every turn. It is intent to get away at all costs. It will continue until exhausted or beaten itself senseless against the walls of captivity. Freedom comes at ANY cost.
You don’t fully understand the plight of the frog. You are frantic to keep this precious cargo from harm yet your efforts are backfiring because the silly thing won’t listen! It keeps jumping! It is bruising its tender skin with every attempt, bumping eyeballs and tiny toes against hard surfaces and risking leaps from great heights. Even in the bowl, it jumps straight up trying to find a rim to climb out of and comes crashing down again. You now KNOW it must be free but how? How will you get it safely back outside? A Lid! You rush to the kitchen with the bowl, find any lid from any pot and slap that on top. Your frog buddy jumps against it- smack! “Oh, geez, please stop little friend. I’m sorry! Let’s get you back outside”.
You run, now, out the door back to the grass not quite as concerned for the log, or branch or leaf you choose. Something in a cool calm place will work. Anywhere where the birds can’t see and eat this exhausted little frog.
You skid to a stop, look around and drop to your knees. You feel the frog crash against the side of the bowl as you do. You must lift the lid! Is it safe? You look around… “it will have to do”, you think. And you pop open the lid. The frog is still brilliant but so tired. Jumping is hard. Bumping is harder. You set the bowl at an angle hoping the frog will jump out. It doesn’t. You wait. Nothing. You dare to give it a little push on its hind legs and it launches itself straight into the brush!
You sigh relieved and in awe of such a creature. You look closely again with no small level of guilt that it got all banged up while you were trying so hard to keep it safe. But you see now that the only unsafe place is locked inside.
You are now ok with it being free. You are no longer afraid for it. It has skills and determination that you didn’t realize before. It is so strong! So powerful even in its delicate features. It is fierce and feisty. Fast and nimble. Smart and crafty. Majestic in its perfection – suited perfectly to thrive in spite of and because of its unique features.
You walk away after wishing your friend some luck and you think, “maybe it didn’t need me to save it after all”.
You are the well meaning child.
Your soul is the desperate frog.
Lift the lid, darling, and let it be free!
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