Our backyard. It extends for miles and miles really if you count how far we can walk through the jungle on dirt once we leave our front door.
This particular day I walk up the canyon by our house. Ruffo is with me and off the leash. He was so happy to go on a walk after days of John and I being sick. Immediately though he took off, crashing through the undergrowth and out of sight. Soon I heard his barking and then the screaming back by monkeys who I hadn’t yet seen.
One monkey must’ve been caught off guard because I heard alot of branches crashing about fairly close to the ground. And then I saw the monkey flinging itself up higher into the tree. And more monkeys all around him or her. Had Ruffo seen them, or smelled them or heard them? I would’ve walked right on past them, I’m sure.
I hate when he barks barks barks. I called for him, which probably sounded to the monkeys like my own form of barking, but he paid me no heed. The one monkey just howled and howled and howled back at him. And I slinked away guiltily, ashamed to have brought this domesticated animal (well, both he and I, truth be told) into their presence.
The jungle is thick and wet with growth.
I pick up a fallen yellow flower and wonder at the number of cells which ave configured themselves into becoming a flower. I marvel too at the new leaves in the undergrowth. At the tiny insects going about their lives. At the Ceiba tree’s darkening of its most recent wound made by a neglectful human with machete.
I stare at all of this life, vibrant, incessant, multiplying cells upon cells practically before my very eyes, and I bark out in silence, but loudly in my head: “Why?” And “What is this life FORCE that keeps on creating itself, and in so many varied forms? What is this drive drive drive to BE? To BE a perfect yellow flower? To be a brand new leaf?
I close my eyes and switch off my attention. As if it is too much. Like sometimes when vistas are too much. Or the night sky. As if God had lured me to see see see. Doesn’t he/she know that I can only see so much before my brain threatens to explode? Before I would be forced to drop on my knees and cry?
So, instead, I shift my gaze and walk on, now with Ruffo reunited at my side. What more shall we gawk and bark at? What is our own life force urging us to do?