We have a fox in our backyard. I first glimpsed this sleek creature darting past one evening while checking the mail. I remember exclaiming loudly, “I just saw a fox!” to everyone in the house. This included a couple of technicians working on our thermostat at the time.
Later that evening, I looked up the symbolism. I was already familiar with common meanings of the fox being sly, clever, mischievous, and sometimes a trickster. What I hadn’t known is the fox is also associated with creative problem solving, imagination, and adaptability. Wow!
Seeing the fox reminded me of my long walks on the beach at Cherry Grove during summer visits. Walks in the early morning, specifically to see an elusive red fox. And here was a fox literally in my backyard. Since the first front door sighting, we’ve seen the fox twice more prowling around the backyard. Each time it’s a mix of delight, awe, and excitement.
The last couple of months I haven’t seen any traces of rabbits (i.e., pellets) in the backyard. Now I suspect it’s because of our friend, the fox. I can only imagine how many other creatures now know this is the fox’s hunting grounds.
However, the fox’s adaptability is the most impressive skill to me. Part of my initial shock at seeing the fox race past the front door was realizing how comfortable she was near people, cars, concrete, houses, etc. We live in close proximity to our neighbors. Our backyard touches three others. And yet, this fox had found a way to thrive, and live peacefully amongst us.
With the tail end of the pandemic in sight, albeit still many months (years?) away, I realize we all have something to learn from this clever fox. Once the devastating outbreaks end, and the lockdowns become less severe, we will all need to adapt to our new “normal.” It’s hard to predict what this will look like, or how we will feel about it. I’m sure for many of us it will be a combination of relief, anxiety, frustration, and joy. The point is, we need to adapt to keep going. Nothing will ever be the same after the pandemic. It was a major disrupter.
The best we can do is to take notes of the fox. Learn to adapt, solve problems, and explore some new hunting grounds.