For today’s prompt of forest animals, I opted to head to a rain forest and ended up with this little sloth. Contrary to popular belief, these animals aren’t totally lazy and sleeping all of the time, but they do clock in a good 10 hours a day which is actually rather enviable. I’ve never been able to sleep more than six to seven hours in a night. It’s as if an internal alarm goes off, and I find myself suddenly awake and contemplating a new day. I don’t really mind, as I’m never feeling tired, so that must simply be the appropriate amount for me. But when I see a sloth lounging in a tree, it often makes me wish I could enjoy a life of leisure like they do. It’s always easy to look at another being and think that they have a better life somehow. In reality, our own life is usually always better. For example, a sloth only poops and pees once a week, usually always in the same spot, making them very vulnerable to predators. So, the envy ends rather quickly. A rather large price to pay for a few extra hours of slumber. And life has a beautiful way of forming itself around us to make a unique bubble of things that only we can truly appreciate. That’s a pretty wonderful thing indeed.
Philippe and I live in the middle of the city, but directly next to a historic cemetery with lots of tall old trees. So we basically look out our windows onto a forest scene of sorts each day and, many times, we are greeted by lots of woodland creatures that have included owls, deer, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and red foxes. It’s pretty rare and wonderful to be right next to an urban core and yet also feeling secluded and in the woods when we return home. Our choice of living in the city is because our jobs are there and we don’t really want a commute. Given a full choice, you’d probably find us in the middle of forest far away from the city. But, we still manage to live a very simple and quiet life thanks to our location and get the best of both worlds. The term “concrete jungle” that applies to much larger cities is one that doesn’t appeal to us. Jungles are green, after all, not cracked and gray and we wouldn’t be happy if nature wasn’t nestled closely nearby us. Here, we can spend an evening watching birds doing their bird things in trees and end our evening with the most glorious sunsets.
As for sloths, they can live up to 40 years, but I’ve already passed that. And I’m hoping that the next 40 years, if I’m lucky enough to live that long, are truly amazing. I hope I’m also still managing to make a little something each and every day. I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve been showing up each day for over three years now, so why wouldn’t it be possible? Oftentimes, when we challenge ourselves, we set a small goal, one we know we can achieve. But why not, as I have, set a ridiculous and impossible goal, instead? An unending goal to just show up each day and make a little sketch of some kind. Why stop with 31 days, or 100, or 365? Why stop ever? If it’s something you enjoy, you should pursue it with all the passion you can possibly muster! No matter what happens in life, we can always chose what we ourselves do next. I choose to sketch and tell stories. And I hope you’ll always choose whatever makes you happiest. They say “life is short” because they forgot what’s actually possible. I truly believe we can each do amazing things if we simply DO them and enjoy the thrill of life. Moving from choice, to pure instinct, and suddenly realizing the keen insight that can be found from those fabulous forest animals.
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Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!