I went on a short run this morning, along a bike path near my house. I noticed a lot of slugs creeping their way over the drying asphalt, washed up by the rains. I kept going, watching my step as I did.
At my turnaround point, I decided to walk back instead of run. And in doing so, I found it hard to keep going by each slug without stopping to help them out. Some of them were getting baked in the sun, and all of them were in danger of getting stepped on or smashed with a bike tire (quite a few of them already were).
Everyone else on the path was oblivious to or just ignoring the slugs. I could’ve done the same. I mean why bother to spend my time picking them up, getting slime all over my fingers and looking silly to these passersby? Why not just let nature do it’s thing, why get involved?
I guess the simple answer is because I can. Because it made me happy to do it. I actually find that helping bugs softens me into a very mindful, compassionate kind of space… for everything.
And it may not make a difference in the grand scheme but it makes a difference to one teeny creature at least.
A brief minute to me could mean a lifetime to them; my tiny effort of squatting down to pick them up gingerly in my fingers and dropping them off safely in the grass is really nothing to their slow, belabored effort and inadvertently courageous trek over the exposed and barren black road.
And if anyone sees me doing this, maybe it will make them think, not that I’m crazy but that I’m kind, and if I’m kind enough to take care of a little bug then what if they were too? Every life can matter to us. Why not? We can choose.
Today, I am the Great Slug Rescuer.
Tomorrow, maybe a Helper of Humankind and All of Existence.