Wednesday, March 25, 2009
A Lizard's Life Lessons
About a month ago, my son enlisted in the Army. This decision created a need for some quick action to move his "stuff" from Massachusetts to our home in Pennsylvania. Part of his stuff included a Giant Sudan Plated Lizard, named Monty. Monty has been with Alan living in several states (PA, Ohio, NY, MA) for the past six years or so. They are apparently quite close, so of course Alan wanted to have him in the loving hands of his grandmother (that would be me).
At first, I was a bit shell shocked to have a lizard living in my family room in a giant aquarium. Although I did not have a previous affection for lizards, after a few days I began to notice that Monty stopped hiding in one of his tunnels whenever I walked by. He actually was still as I tried to talk "nice" to him. He seemed appreciative of the mango or strawberries I fed him every other day. He would even sometimes make eye contact with me....that was a bonding experience, for sure.
As I continued to observe Monty I began to see that he seemed to be living a great life....at least for a lizard, and that maybe he had some lessons for the rest of us.
I noticed he loved to lie atop his tunnel to be closer to the light as though he was lying on the beach. His quiet appreciation struck me as living in the moment and fully enjoying it.
I noticed he never ate more than his fill. If I happened to give him more food than his usual allotted portion, he didn't clean his plate. I imagine his mindful eating habits will keep him healthy. He also exercises regularly as he scales the sides of his home a few times a day.
He is also a great reminder of the need to sometimes get away and off by yourself. He periodically goes inside his structure so that only his tail can be seen. I can only imagine this is his time to reflect on his existence and to be grateful for his wonderful life in my family room. I have learned to not disturb him when he is having his private time.
Monty will soon be moving out to live with my nephew (his uncle). Although I will be happy to have my family room back as it once was, I will miss this Giant Sudan Plated Lizard and will always be grateful for the lessons of life that I have learned.