Earlier this Spring I got a text from a co-worker as I was leaving work: “When you leave, look in the little pond. There’s a creature swimming in it! :)”
I did. There was! They would dive under the water, then stick out their head for a bit and chirp at me, then dive under again. I watched for awhile, then tore myself away homeward, towards errands and kids and family dinner.
I already had a habit of looking at that little pond before going in to work. It’s a bit of surprising beauty in my workday world. Now I added the ritual of looking for the creature for a few minutes before work and before heading home.
We nicknamed them Nessie, the office park otter, and for a few weeks the office chatter included “Did you see Nessie today?” “Otter or muskrat? or fisher cat? definitely not a fisher cat!”
My teammates and I would try to spot Nessie while on walking one-on-ones. The moment when someone first saw them was always great: “Where? Oh! There!! They are so playful!” We toke bad photos of them, but still couldn’t decide, for sure, otter or muskrat.
For the past week or so, I haven’t spotted or heard about Nessie. The pond is getting crowded with lily pads as summer comes on. If Nessie is a river otter, I’m hoping they found their way back to the (not far) river. They leave a legacy of more people stopping by that pond, willing to see something new.
This piece was inspired by the Support Driven Writing Challenge — second topic, View. Support Driven is chock-full of geeks and people-lovers who help each other stay sane and do our best work. Thanks, all.