Slug was on my mind today and made it into my sketchbook as well as into my 500 words contribution for today:
Slug messenger (31-day writing challenge 4/31)
Slug turned out to be one of my five spirit animals for this year because, just before the new year I had three encounters in a row. Slug crossed my path washing salads.
The first slug I encountered was a small one. I immediately put it outside. Temperatures were still above freezing point and – as far as I could estimate – fine for slugs to find a new home.
The next day, again while washing a salad, I found another slug. This one was slightly larger. The weather outside was still fine to put the second slug immediately outside, too.
Another day passed and while washing yet another salad for dinner (not the big salad eater, but in the past few weeks I had this strong craving and am indulging in many salad side dishes). This time, I discovered an even bigger slug that almost got flushed down the drain!
I do not like the idea of being responsible for the death of an animal. You may be guessing that I am vegetarian. You’re right. It’s just another one of my ‘things’. I am neither judging anyone for eating meat nor am I interested in converting anyone to vegetarianism or veganism. I have no interest in getting into an endless ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ conversation. Everybody needs to figure the meat/nomeat thing out for themselves.
So, uhm, where was I again? Ah yes: the third slug.
Upon seeing the slug in the sink, I quickly picked it up to prevent it from flushing down the drain. Then, together with some salad leaves I put it in a previously moistened cup and covered the cup in a way that air could get through but the slug not. I decided to bring it outside after dinner.
But after dinner, it was already late and the weather had dropped to minus temperatures. I thought it was probably smarter to keep the slug indoors overnight and set it free in the daytime when the temperatures were milder and it could find its way into the soil.
The next morning, I was devastated to find an empty cup! The slug was gone and as you can imagine, I felt terrible. ‘Why did I not bring it out immediately!?’ I thought to myself. I turned out to be the one thing I did not want to be: responsible for the premature death of a slug!
Somehow during the night, the slug slipped out and went wandering off through the apartment. I guessed the slug would loose too much moisture to survive in the apartment climate. I searched everywhere for the slug and hoped to find it alive so I could bring it immediately outside. But there was no trace of it. It did not even leave a trail to follow!
So I pondered the message slug was trying to send me and came to the conclusion: no matter how comfortably safe and ‘well-fed’ I may be: freedom is the most valuable asset of my human existence. I should never let attachments to things hinder my journey nor let myself be bribed by comfort to give up my freedom (from attachments to things, thoughts, etc.) for anything. Despite the danger, slug set out on its destined journey. It did what it instinctively needed to do.
But two days later, I found the slug. Unfortunately, my worries were confirmed: the slug was all dried up. I was sad, felt guilty and thought to myself: ‘If I had just brought the slug outside, then nature would have taken its natural course.’ I realised that for the same price, I could have never found the slug again. Either, it could have made it out the window or I would have vacuum cleaned its remains unknowingly. But it reappeared before me and was brought back into my awareness.
Under the new circumstances, slug’s message called for a revision of my above-made conclusion and so I pondered further. This time, slug’s message dawned on me quite clearly: now is the time to take things slow. It’s not the time to take risks and leave your safe environment. The consequences of such action could do more harm. Be patient and don’t rush things.
Thank you my little spirit animal guide.
May my little messenger rest in peace.