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Reflections on a Lizard

This is Scary, the lizard. My 6 year old caught him the other day and brought him over to show me. A few minutes after this picture was taken, Scary decided to skitter up her arm and into her hair. Drama ensued; Scary landed on the deck and then peed on himself out of fright. I had to explain to my daughter that we have to be careful with delicate creatures as I gently placed him back near the rocks in our backyard where she found him.

Well, this lizard gives new meaning to the term "Lizard Brain". He allowed himself to get caught again the next day. This time, the story does not have a happy ending. Somehow, and without malicious intent on the part of my 6 year old, Scary was accidentally smooshed by a rock. He lived for awhile, no doubt in excruciating pain. We placed him in an old butterfly cage and gave him a little-bitty dish of water and a rock (so he felt at home). The girls even researched what Scary's species of lizard eats (in case you are curious, it's stink bugs, beetles, spiders, and ants) and then hunted him down some dinner. But last night, he succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

This experience was difficult for my 6 year old as she felt horrible about what happened to Scary. But she also learned an important lesson about life and how quickly living creatures can perish if you are careless. In turn, Scary came into my consciousness this morning as I was meditating. His life and death gave me a sense of gratitude for the deep breaths I am able to take and the breath-taking beauty of the autumn-in-Georgia sunrise I witnessed this morning.

These days, as life seems to be quickly snatched away from innocent people (and lizards), perhaps take a moment to reflect on Scary and take a deep, delicious breath.

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