Sunny animals

Sunny animals

It’s easy to forget that we are animals.

But bust out a giant yellow sunball and some temperatures over 38, and suddenly we’re mere, mirthful mammals, reduced or elevated to pure instinct and rebellious giddiness.

In our silliest moments, creatures like you and me might be tempted to think we’re the top of the crop. There’s a legit argument to be made here, of course: we are in the image of God. We’re a little lower than the angels. We are dust, but we are stardust.

We have large, gnarly brains that can unravel the secrets of viruses and shoot like comets into the deep weirdness of Dali. We can compute and contemplate and convolute everything we touch. We are poets and prophets, scientists and scholars, plumbers and nurses and professors and mechanics and armchair adventurers.

“I have no idea why I share a name with that tiny little wild decadent painter guy. But let the record show that I would like to visit fin de siecle Paris, if the Moulin Rouge could handle my mirth.”

And we are at our best when we are mere, mirthful mammals.

The world, I am told by persons wiser than myself, is always turning towards the morning. But these many mornings in late March, it’s more evident than ever. The sun is stubborner, sticking around longer and hugging us tighter. The warm is chomping the chill, practically pulling the mittens from our hands and heaving them back into our closets for another year.

And when we step into the ancient and new sunlight, we are wowed. We are small again in its splendor. And we are smitten with silliness and sunniness and the kind of joy that comes from our lizard brain and our kitten instincts and our highest selves.

Slather us in sufficient sunshine, and we’re Toulouse in a blanket, making the kind of muffins that make the actual Muffin Man (do you know him?) take notes for future recipes. Toulouse has known the kind of tough times that cauterize lesser hearts; Toulouse’s teeth and tales are tattered with the weariness of post-feral life; but Toulouse, given sunshine and bountiful blankets, is a kneading, natural puddle of joy.

It’s instinct. It’s obedience to the kind of warmth that wraps us all, if we’re willing. It’s feisty, stubborn, rebellious rejoicing.

It’s ours, if we’ll embrace it.

When we’re luckiest, it’s ours even before we have time to weigh the pros and cons of embracing it. The bliss of simple sunshine can bypass those gnarly, tortured brains of ours.

So give in to the glee of spring, kittens. The joy that’s yanking you skyward is trustworthy. The simple bliss of cats, children, and angels is your holiest, most mammaltacular hunch, and you’d do wise to follow it.

Sun yourself today. Make a muffin or twelve. And trust Toulouse: when you feel the peace take hold, best to let it take you where it’s going.

Sunward we go together.


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