Thursday, June 15, 2006

Of Foxes

Right, so let me preface this as briefly as I can with just a bit of context: I don't believe in coincidence. I'm not sure what coincidence is, or quite how to explain the surreal weaving of seemingly random threads, but I don't think said threads just find their ways around one another as a matter of chaos. I also want to say that, as I've indicated, something is happening to me as a matter of course in Becoming Ironman. Something deeper and more complicated than the physical rigors and affects. The universe seems to be coordinating itself around me somehow. I'm seeing things differently, or for the first time, or as they have always meant to be seen. The world in general, I'm speaking - not limited to the confines of my vision on rides or runs or swims. I don't understand it, and don't need to, but there is something transcendental at work - I can feel that. Neo to The Matrix, that sort of thing.

So, of foxes. I'd never seen a fox before. Hard to believe, I know. I'd never seen a real fox. I've also never seen a badger, or a wolverine, or a bobcat, or any number of otherwise pretty common creatures. I also can't think of how or why I'd have wanted to see a fox, or would be discussing a fox, or even thinking of a fox. The fox and I had no relationship whatsoever, of any kind. Complete strangers, he and I.

So I'm in Boston weekend before last, buying an umbrella, and the woman behind me is talking to the check-out lady. And she's saying how it's probably for the best that her cat died, because she has fwahxes in her yahd. Can you believe theat? I am amused by the typical accent, make my purchase, and spend the rest of the weekend telling Amy that it's too bad we have fwahxes in our yahd.

About a week ago, before bed, I'm watching the local news. Interesting to note that I never watch the local news. Literally, never. Unless I want a Vikings update or am especially interested in the weather - which is why I was tuning in, for the weekend's weather report - the local news around here is stoooopid. They try and make a Minnesota connection to everything. "Up next, more bad news in Iraq. And we have an exclusive with a Minnesota man who's been to Iraq, and reaction from more Minnesotans who've read about it in books. Stay tuned." So I'm watching the news and they come to one of those silly human interest stories, and lo' and behold there's my tax accountant on television. Seems she's also a wildlife rehabilitation person, and this sick fox in her general rural neighborhood had the unlikely sense to pass out on the steps of the humane society. So they nursed the fox back to health, and it was my tax accountant's job to reintroduce the healed animal to the wild. Huh. Crazy, hey look - my tax accountant's on TV! The fox part of it went by me completely.

Then we have last weekend's race. And as I'm headed into T2, in the last of some 59 miles on my bike, dejected and ill and entirely all alone on the road, out races to the side of the road a fox. Right in front of me, like it'd been waiting for a parade in which I was the only attraction. He just flies out to the side of the road, slides to an abrupt halt, and watches me. Like I said, I'd never seen a fox before, and in the first nanoseconds thought it was an awkward cat. Then I realized it was a fox, and in shared milliseconds we stared into each other, it through blackish yellowish eyes, me through red tinted lenses. Then in an instant it turned tail and bolted back into the woods, sliding for a moment on the loose gravel at the side of the road. It was weird at the time - like the fox jumped out to share a secret with me, then jumped back into retreat before anyone else discovered him. But I had doom and gloom on the brain, so thought nothing more of it.

Until later, when I was telling Amy how a fox just jumped right out at me. And that meeting, it really stayed with me. I haven't been able to get that fox out of my head. It was such a weird thing to have happen. So unexpected and random. It was days later that I remembered seeing the fox on TV with my tax accountant. And only last night did I remember that, for the third time in a single week, foxes came up again while I was in Boston. I'm pretty sure I've gone my entire life without foxes having the limelight once, nevermind three times in a week, however brief and seemingly inconsequential.

Separate from one another the instances are mildly interesting, but unremarkable. Like any single thread. But seen in context, with these other threads, a more complete weaving is revealed, if only one steps away to see it a bit from a distance. I have no idea what it means. But I suspect it means something. I don't know if there's some lesson to learn from the fox, or some reason to share space with it, however brief or meandering, or if the Fox Nation wants something with me, or what. Amy, who is versed in all kinds of lore from different cultures, suggested that I research what the fox represents as a Spirit guide. I guess in some Native American cultures there is, in time of great meditation and coming of age, a union with some kind of animal, and that animal represents some kind of guide for your spirit. Or something, I don't know, I'm kind of arms-length with that kind of stuff. And I also think you could look up the traits for probably any animal and find all kinds of meaning in yourself, like those lame personality tests, where if you're INPJ or whatever the hell, it puts you in a convenient and quaint little box within which all of you can be defined and understood through 4 little letters representing 4 black and white traits, and they seem spot-on, but you might just as well shuffle the letters and see how they define you and you'd say "Ah, brilliant, that explains me perfectly." It's all hocus-pocus to me. Nontheless, here's what I discovered about the fox:

He's a solitary creature. He doesn't travel in a pack, and prefers to manage tasks on his own.
He's a sensible eater. He eats 5 or 6 small meals a day, instead of one or two big ones that last him several days.
He's clever, inventive, and intelligent.
And here's what I found particulary interesting, considering when he jumped out at me during last weekend's race: He's quick to solve problems, physically and mentally. The fox assesses a situation quickly and takes an action, never unsteady or unsure about its consequence, instead confident in his doing.


So. If anybody has any other thoughts on this, I'm all ears. And if you see any foxes, tell them I say 'ello.


Michael Anderson said...

Typical Fox-Guided, Middle Child, Blue Aura-ed, Thirty-something, WASP, INFP, Aries perspective.

Todd said...

That is wicked weird. You always seem to have the coolest stories. What it means, if anything, I couldn't tell yah. Maybe it's just a way for you divert your thoughts towards something else other than the half ironman debacle for a bit....what do I know?

My spirit guide is a cow so I've been told...beef, it's what's for dinner!

Have a good weekend buddy!

abby said...

WEIRD...I just had a dream that I saw a fox out in my front yard. So...yeah... You can add that to your list of foxes.