Beside the road….

Soft and brown

indiscernible shape

Head bowed, eyes closed

Paws tucked under, as in prayer

Groundhog, passed,  by the roadside


Picture from

It was probably the second or third day I drove past him, that I remembered a moment from my daughter.  She had been six or seven at the time.  The green, nature-loving part of me had taught her to watch for the groundhogs along the roadside (and hawks in the trees).  Sometimes we’d see them running along, other times they would be standing up like a wide-body meerkat.  One day as we were driving along, she saw one passed away on the roadside.I didn’t know she had seen it until I heard her quiet little-girl voice say “God, bless this groundhog.  He was well-loved”.  I was touched by her tenderness for the animal.  Touched by her assumption (correct, in my mind) that God was interested in the life of this creature. Touched that she knew he was well-loved.  Were that I knew that much about me.

It was a memory I had forgotten until……this past week, when I saw the brownish form beside my lane on the road.  Interesting the things we remember, how they stick in our memory, and what triggers them.

Like a groundhog.


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