My friend Edwin told me a story today.
He has a cleaning business, and one weekend, he was working at an office building alone. He was hot, tired, and wanted to be anyplace but at a job site on this particular Saturday. It didn’t help that his shoulder was out of sorts, throbbing with pain.
It was the kind of day you just want to forget. But that would change. And it would change Edwin, too, in a way he had not expected.
As he entered the building to start cleaning, he noticed something moving on the floor. There, in a glue trap used to catch insects and small rodents, was a wriggling little lizard.
He was stuck, but trying to get free.
Edwin felt sad for the creature, but he kept walking with his vacuum, mop bucket, and supplies. Then he started to clean, an effort that lasted about 10 minutes.
People who know Edwin understand all too well that he loves creatures both large and small. And on this day, he did not have his music and earbuds with him as a distraction. So, his mind kept returning to the lizard’s predicament.
He set down his spray bottle and sponge and walked back to see how the little fellow was doing. Edwin found that the lizard had lost his tail in the fight to escape. But he had only freed one leg from the sticky surface.
It appeared that nothing could be done. The lizard was stuck. If Edwin tried to pull him off, the glue would probably injure more body parts. Apparently, death from dehydration and starvation was the horrible fate that awaited the languishing lizard.
Then, Edwin had an ah-ha moment and pulled out his phone. A few Google searches revealed that baby oil or olive oil could be used to loosen the creature from the sticky strip.
In the kitchen was a popcorn machine. Edwin did some digging in the cabinets and found the oil used for cooking the kernels. He returned to the lizard with a plastic knife and the oil.
His first attempts were met with failure. The oil would help the little creature free one part of his body, but then he would get another part caught again. It all seemed futile.
But then Edwin had an idea. He compared it to ripping off a Band-Aid rapidly, getting it over in an instant. He would pour on the oil once more and then pull the lizard off very quickly. It was a gamble. It might kill the reptile, ending his suffering immediately. Or it might actually work and save him.
First the oil, then a quick pull – Edwin’s method worked. The lizard was free. Edwin placed him in a plastic container, rinsed him with water and set him loose in the grassy area outside.
The experience of helping this lizard led Edwin to realize two profoundly important things. The first: When everything seems hopeless and impossible, just remember that it is not. Many of life’s difficult moments have simple answers.
And second, Edwin became aware of how helping another living being made him feel better. His mood changed dramatically that morning, and he no longer felt worn out from the daily struggle of life.
It is incredible what helping another living creature can do for the soul. Learning a lesson in loving life from a little lizard – very cool indeed!
This article of wellness is brought to you by that guy with hope in the most unexpected places. That guy of creative creature comforts is Ron Blake and can be reached at [email protected]