If your days are anything like mine, they get full pretty fast. Rushing from here to there, worrying about tons of different deadlines for different projects all at the same time. The mind is racing and somedays it’s really hard to get focused – or worse – to sleep at night! Well, we have found a most excellent way to draw our minds back into brain-dead status – TOAD RACING!
Now, this is not your fancy frog racing adventure. No race track, no fast moving frogs, and only 2 rules…1) Who ever makes it to the finish line is the winner, 2) NO CHASING THE TOAD! This last includes tossing a stick or stone to try to direct or redirect it in any way. It has to be all on the toads’ own will power.
This may sound stupid to some of you but picture this: It is a quiet cool evening. You have had a long hard day of doing too many mental and physical chores. You find yourself sitting in a comfortable glider rocker chair next to a nice glowing fire pit. The stars are our, the crickets are chirping, you can hear the howl of the coyotes in the distance – but you just cannot relax!
Frustrated, you go grab a cool drink, sink back into your chair and then happened to glance around at your environment. You see a toad hopping about. It seems to be on a mission – but – no – wait, it turned around bolting in a new direction. Your screaming brain just came to a screeching halt – “what is this critter looking for?” You now start to see other toads of all different sizes and shapes, popping out from all different places. You lean over to the buddy sitting next to you and say, “I bet that one can get to that stick first!” Your sister/friend/significant other looks at you, selects their own specimen smiles and says “you’re on!”
You shuffle your feet to try to make it turn another direction, but you are not allowed to get up and chase it in any way, shape or fashion – it must move totally by its own will. It stumbles over a small tree branch, travels about a foot toward your goal and you start to get excited – oops, wait it turned to face you now. Pretty sure this toad knows that I have pegged it as the winner so it just decides to squat right down and stare at me – jerk! The other fellow’s toad is now racing, has caught up with mine and actually rammed right into it. Now they are both just sitting there like bumps on a log (ok, now you know where that phrase came from – you’re welcome!).
You and your buddy begin laughing uncontrollably – can’t help it, the whole idea is goofy! But then, that’s the point…your mind is now totally blank except for how to get this toad to move, your body has become physically relaxed except for the hysterics pouring out of you. Ahhh, job well done!
The unplanned plan worked perfectly! Totally by chance of a perfect night, perfect conditions and stopping to notice the surroundings – relaxation was found!
A couple of months have now passed since that glorious night, and we found ourselves sitting on the east porch contemplating Saturdays chores that we had accomplished. There was still a large amount to be done, so the “list” began to bounce back and forth between us. Do this first, do this by the first deep frost, finish processing the veggies, and my sister slipped in the house to get a couple more drinks. That’s when I spotted them!
(Look close and you can see the 2 at the siding edge trying to come over to beat her, however she is also traveling toward them?)
Not toads this time, but ladybugs! Dozens of them crawling all over the porch railings, ceiling, along the house wall, everywhere. They were moving so fast I thought that they must have a plan? As one moved close to me I set out a finger – she climbed right on it – now this is silly! How will she get where she is going while perched on my finger? But, again, moving non-stop she reached the edge of my coat cuff, bumped it and immediately flew off and reconnected with the house again. These were not sluggish toad, these little puppies cruised! When my sister came back out with fresh drinks, I pointed out the lady bugs and stated; “I believe that one of mine (the one spinning in circles) will reach the end of the porch ceiling first!” She started giggling and said “You’re on!”
So who won the race? No one, everyone, who really cares? The whole point of this is not who wins the race, or how they won the race, but the fun we found along the way. Yes the ladybug is faster, but she is just as dizzy as the toads were.