Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tip of the Ant Hill

Today little bear was out for a walk and discovered a mysterious looking mound of debris. Little bits of grass and other plant matter. What could this be? After close inspection, little bear saw absolutely no signs of activity. What is this thing? Does an animal live here? Is it a mole hill? Is it abandoned?

Little bear has come across a dormant ant hill. Given that it is January, even a relatively mild one, the ants are tucked away deep in the bowels of their ant hill. If little bear wanted to dig for a while, he could probably dig down to the heart of the ant hill and have a tasty little snack. But he'd be doing a lot of digging! To survive the cold winters here in Canada, the ants hibernate deep underground, sometimes as much as 15 feet! Little bear would have to dig for a very long time to find the ants! The ants wouldn't quite be asleep either. They huddle together in the ant hill to keep warm and even have an internal antifreeze which prevents the liquid in their bodies from freezing. Ant antifreeze might not taste very good!

The ant hill that little bear sees on the ground is only about 2 feet wide and maybe 8 inches high. It's just the tip of the iceberg, or in this case, the ant hill. There is a lot going on below the surface that little bear, and we, don't see. Which is an interesting metaphor for life. Oftentimes, the activity that we see on the surface of life, doesn't really give us an accurate picture of what is going on deep under the surface. There is so much more to explore and discover, as little bear has found out!

Sometimes though, we are satisfied with the surface view of things. We don't really want to do what else is going on beneath the surface. We are happy to keep relationships at a superficial level, rather than explore a bit deeper and discover something new. Even for ourselves... how often do we actually take a deeper look at our thoughts and motivations, at what is going on inside of us? Easier to just touch base on the surface and then keep going!

Little bear wants to try some digging, just to see what he discovers. But he also understands that digging would make a mess out of the ant hill, and so he is convinced to leave it alone... this time. Maybe that's why we don't like to dig deeper into things as well, because it might make a bit of a mess?

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