The other day I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air and found myself face to face with a brownish and extremely long newt. It peeked out of the woodpile at me, red face furrowing whatever eyebrow substitute that newts possess.
I expected him to scuttle away immediately, but he held his ground with alarming tenacity. We locked eyes until he flickered his tongue at me, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and retreated back into the kitchen.
For the rest of the week I’ve given the woodpile a wide berth, and have seen the creature only once more. I pray I’ll never witness newt babies, but it did look like a friend was visiting the other day,..I never thought I’d be googling the reproductive habits of newts and geckos.
I keep on thinking about all this, because I feel like there might be some sort of spiritual lesson hidden in this episode. Is it the newt’s willingness to make do with whatever home, circumstances provide? Is it his respectful observance of my personal space on the patio? I can’t help thinking, what if his scowl was only misunderstood social anxiety and what if he actually wants to be friends?
In all honesty, I can only give him his space and tiptoe around him every time I go to the laundromat or to get the mail. Who can plumb the depths of a newt’s mind after all?
I’m no Gussy Fink-Nottle.