Yesterday, just after I posted, Philippe and I were sitting on the terrace when we spotted some rather adorable little wildlife, our art challenge prompt for today. A little rabbit appeared in the grass just below us and was soon joined by another one, a couple of meters behind it. The first rabbit was rather bold and began immediately hopping out across the drive between our houses in search of adventure. The second rabbit started to follow, but then stopped and froze in the safety of the bushes. We were immediately entranced with this one as it poked its little head out every so often, looking up at us and then looking at the other rabbit. There seemed to be an expression of longing on its face. And then, all at once, it peered to where the other rabbit had only been, now long gone and no doubt finding something amazing. After several minutes, the little rabbit had made no progress at all. Philippe went inside to grab a carrot and threw it a meter ahead in the path the rabbit longed to go. But even the carrot wasn’t enough to assuage its fears and it eventually hopped off in the other direction.
While I was watching this little creature I felt myself cheering it on. “Go!” I was shouting in my head, “You can do it!” I’m now, not entirely sure why, since I didn’t really know what the other rabbit was getting itself into or if that path was indeed a good one. He was, after all, heading in the direction of more humans, but equally kind, so there was nothing to worry about there. And I’ve no idea if there was better food to be found in that direction for my new little friend, it was simply an uncharted path. In my head, I was merely responding to the fact that this little creature really wanted to take that path, but felt paralyzed to actually give it a go. It got me thinking about all of the times when I was one of these two rabbits. Sometimes, I’ll find myself darting ahead with no fear, and other times, I’ll stay safely behind while only wishing I had taken the risk. Being the latter rabbit always leaves me with more regret. Perhaps this is why I found myself urging this little rabbit along as I did.
Sure, I’ve tried plenty of things in a moment of reckless and not quite thought out inspiration that failed miserably, but the act of trying still filled me with an incredible sense of accomplishment. On other occasions, when I just stayed in place and decided to do nothing new at all, I’m always left with a sense of emptiness. An admittedly odd feeling of losing something I never actually had in the first place. It’s the strangest feeling of all, and not one I enjoy repeating. So when I feel the urge to DO something, I throw caution to the wind and try to give it a go. I never have to worry about whether or not I’ll actually be successful, because I’ve learned that that the act of trying is the real measure of fulfillment. True regret can surface in many forms, but the strongest regret usually always comes in the things that we didn’t do. This always leaves room for so much more doubt of what might have happened next had we dared to take that path. A lot of pondering to be sure, born out of a simple chance encounter with that shy little rabbit.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. 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!