July 23, 2019

            This morning I traveled back to where I go most every morning and observed one of the little trees in the area. Three slugs caught my eye, gathered together like a little slug family. As I watched, the slugs would slowly move in undulating fashions, one up the tree, one down the tree, and one in seemingly no pattern at all. I focused on the one closest to my eye, examining the blue-gray coloring on his back and watching his little feelers bop around as he sensed his surroundings. As he moved around ever so slowly, he left a little goo track that would have gone unnoticed had I not been watching where it came from. I reached out and patted his back—I was curious to feel the squishiness of this little critter. I thought to myself, “What is more vulnerable than a slug?” Soft and impressionable bodies, incredibly slow moving, essentially no forms of defense or offense… 

            As I was watching this little slug, something tells me to look to my right. Perched on top of a hidden log is a white and gray cat observing me observe the slug. In that moment, I was in fact very vulnerable too. I was so focused on what I was doing—examining and thinking about this slug—that I had let my guard down. In a way I was soft and impressionable, incredibly slow moving, and without any forms of defense or offense. I was vulnerable, and had it not been just a stray cat, I very well could have been in danger. 

            A little humbled, I began to watch my slug again, relating to and respecting his vulnerability. Nothing is ever guaranteed… not safety or health or power or anything. In fact, yet another creature could have been silently watching this cat watch me watch the slug. No matter how strong or in control any one thing might seem, vulnerabilities always exist. Nothing is without fault; nothing is without weakness. We can all be strong and powerful but we can all also be vulnerable and exposed.

❊ Lauren Nicole Geiser ❊

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