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What I Learned from Groundhogs

There are lots of things that spring can teach us.  In my case, I learned that groundhogs climb trees. They don't just scramble up the trunk, they can actually move up to the highest branches, just like a cat or a bird and then they can crawl down as well after the danger has passed.  

I learned this at a farm near Warrenton.  My friend's dogs, Sally and Mosby, found a groundhog strolling between a patch of lush green clover and his groundhog hole. There was a big chase and then the dogs began looking upward. Mr Groundhog had taken a spot above them, safe in an old oak tree with little sign of stress.

When I feel under attack, I go and sit in my rocking chair and watch General Hospital.  Unlike the groundhog, I prefer being safe by staying low and out of sight ... although  I probably miss out on some spectacular views.  But it's the "crawling down" from the tree and making the transition back to feeling ok again that can sometimes be the most difficult for me, perhaps all of us.  But, like the groundhog, I can't live off the ground either.  So I've had to learn to get on with my life one step at a time, not looking down, not contemplating the worse, and putting the source of stress out of my mind.  Sometimes it's imagining a lovely patch of spring clover that gets me finally back to earth and on my feet.  

It's fun to learn these things about groundhogs.  Even better to learn to move away from life's stresses on an otherwise beautiful day.   

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