For a year and a half, my husband and I have had a sweet relationship with one particular, wild cottontail rabbit. It all started in January 2015 when she decided to move in with us.
We lived inside alone, of course, but she took shelter under our deck outside. She made it her home that entire winter. When spring arrived and the snow melted, we noticed that she loved to rest under our rose of sharon bush. For this reason, we named her Rosa. And from that moment onward, we’ve absolutely delighted in our special yard bunny.
Throughout the spring, summer, and most of the fall, Rosa was always around. Sometimes, she was in the front yard, but most frequently, she stayed in the backyard near her rose of sharon bush where she would nibble on grass and eat her fill. We enjoyed watching her hop to and fro, and Ian even grew an entire clover garden just for her.
All of this attention might seem excessive, I suppose, but we have thoroughly enjoyed having Rosa as a neighbor. And why not? Why not delight in this little creature and grow fond of her as she grows (and eats our grass which always grows. . .)? Why not have a special love for her?
Others joined in too. Last year, throughout her stay, Rosa became a Facebook character. I posted photos from time to time and shared what she was doing. Then when I ran into friends and acquaintances around town or at the grocery store, folks would occasionally ask about her by name. “How’s Rosa these days?”
At some point in the fall, Rosa scampered off for a while. We missed her but blessed her on her way. But this spring, something wonderful happened.
Rosa came back.
At first, for our own enjoyment, we decided she was the “same bunny.” But not long after she arrived, we spotted her nesting in the very same place she did the year before. Then we learned that wild cottontail rabbits are pretty territorial in their homemaking. This was really our yard bunny, back for another season.
So we’re back to delighting in her.
This is what I have learned from Rosa, our yard bunny:
Rosa inhabits a delight that is larger than she knows. Rosa hasn’t done anything to make us love or enjoy her, and if she leaves, we won’t love or enjoy her less.
The delight comes from an existence beyond her, but it’s for her. Rosa doesn’t know that we live inside a decorated house or go to work. She definitely doesn’t know about the existence of Facebook or grocery stores where people ask about her specifically. But all of this delight exists for her, and in ways larger than I can understand, I assume it affects her well.
I believe this is all true for us too.
At the center of things, a delight exists for us beyond anything we can understand fully, but it’s really for us. And who knows? Perhaps that affects us well. I like to think so.
We’re worth loving.
As the summer continues, we’ll continue to delight in Rosa, and the story is unfolding. Because. . .just a few days ago, a new little being emerged. Rosa has given us a grandbunny, and we’re already smitten.
Introducing Lita (full name, Rosalita):
We’re a bit odd in all of this, I know. But we delight well.
And they’re worth it.