If you’ve ever visited a national or state park gift shop, Big R, or a Cabela’s, you may have seen the “Advice from a…” line of cups, mugs, t-shirts, writing pads, and knick-knacks on the glass display shelves within. These cute tourist souvenirs created by the company Your True Nature offer philosophical reminders of the lessons we can learn from nature. For example, “Advice from a Squirrel” might say something like, “Plan ahead” or “Protect your nuts!” (I can’t vouch for that last one but, if you’re a man, it seems reasonable).
When I was visiting Glacier National Park last summer, I picked up a mug with “Advice from a Moose.”
As I was sipping from this mug today, I thought about what else I can learn from a moose and then, more specifically, my thoughts meandered to what I can learn from Moose.
This is Moose.
He’s an eleven year old Flat Coated Retriever with the biggest heart and softest ears. His favorite things are love, food, sleeping, being warm, sticks, balls, treats, and walks (incidentally, with the exception of sticks and balls, those are also MY favorite things!). When he was a puppy, someone dragged him from a car for 70 feet, so he was in bad shape when this family found him and to this day has exceptionally sensitive back hips and legs. He’ll keep going, though, and will over-play and overdo it if you let him. He’ll then be pathetically gimpy for several days and look at you like the world has betrayed his gentle soul, and nobody wants to be on the receiving end of that look.
So, what can I learn from Moose? A few things come to mind…
Smile (and wag your tail!) often!
Explore your world. Don’t be afraid to go in head first!
Play like nobody’s looking!
Find an activity you enjoy and dive in.
After a long day, relax and take it easy. Use the hearth as your pillow if it suits you.
Share the love.
In that last picture, Moose is sharing a moment with Misty, who we regrettably lost this month. We are so sad that she’s gone but it was the right choice to set her free from suffering. Moose would probably tell us that the pain of losing those we love is how we know we’ve been blessed, how we grow and live our lives fully. Despite his own painful beginnings, Moose has grown into a compassionate, loving, sweet boy who reminds me every day to live to the fullest. I’ll take his advice! How about you? Are you blessed with this kind of teacher in your life? Do share!