I’m back down in Stockholm where the ice has melted and the weeds are growing strong. Lucy and I saunter along our usual daily path in Drottningholm park, now with the sturdy colt’s foot growing on our path. These small yellow flowers have that stocky look about them, much like the flowers that manage to fight their way out of the ground during the 8 or so weeks of “summer” up in the very north of Sweden. As all of the people and dogs tread (and do other things) in the park, I admire the colt’s foot. How resilient they are to keep coming up each year despite all of the Nike soles and gritty paws that stampede over them each day.
Something slithers under the moist grass in the ditch next to the path. A small snake hurries past us, uninterested in Lucy’s social advances. A duck ruffles its feathers just behind the bus stop at the roadside. “The bus to town is late again”, it concludes, and waddles back down to the waterfront. A hare hops clumsily through the tourist-filled mazes on the palace grounds. “Haven’t they dropped any lettuce yet?”, it wonders.
Just as I was beginning to feel like I was living next door to a zoo, Lucy and I spotted 4 moose standing out in the middle of a field behind the park near the main road. Two calves lay sunning themselves on the ground, and an adult female eyed us from her standing position with what seemed to be one of her older children by her side. As we stood there eyeing one another, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps for all of these animals Lucy and I were the ‘zoo’.
Whoever the zoo is, my toddles around the park tell me that life is resilient. Civilization can co-exist with the wilderness with just a little respect. And might we create that? The answer seems to me to be simple: find our humility. So the next time that you see a moose consider yourself the zoo…