I mowed my lawn earlier this week, entering the mild afternoon sunshine to clip at the overgrown grass in Chienne's fenced yard.
I was going downhill near one of the pine trees when I yanked the mower toward me in order to cover all the grass near the pointy needles waiting to gouge me when I saw the frog huddled closely to the ground amidst the roaring noise and swirling clippings of grass.
I gasped but had already started the forward motion and between the self-propulsion of the mower and downhill gravity outweighed my alarm over harming the creature and I mowed the patch of lawn in which he huddled.
Having closed my eyes against the potential carnage, I opened the right one slowly and sighed in relief when I didn't see pieces of mutilated frog.
Peering into the grass once again, I noted the concave shape of his back and nodded in admiration.
"I'm not sure I could have stayed so still and hoped for the best," I admitted to a colleague when I told the story. "With all that noise and pressure, I'm afraid I would have attempted a panicked escape directly into the swirling blades."
As I consider it more though, I am quite frog-like of late. Keeping the lowest of profiles. Answering calls from Mom and speeding home for visits. Absently noting the tulips in bloom and budding trees with the knowledge that they'll all die sooner or later. Trying to remain unnoticed as I wait for the next bad thing to happen.
"It's fine," I told a different colleague when she asked about a silly project I'd been asked to lead. "I'm fine."
"You say that a lot," she noted, looking at me with concern. I shrugged, swiveling my chair back to regard the monotony that lives in my work laptop. It keeps me busy. Distracted. For when I think of things, I'm often sad.
I miss Dad. I want so much to talk with him. Make sure he's OK. I worry over Mom as she hates being alone. I fret over disappointments and hurt feelings - whether of the Ones or colleagues or friends.
But it's fine.
Just quietly huddled for a bit.