The Bittersweet Taste of Freedom
May 9, 2012
Big Mama busted out of her cage this morning. A svelt glossy grey rabbit the size of a shoebox tore around the neighbor’s yard with impunity while we, Husband and I, stood in our pjs with utter helplessness. The rain pelted our faces and despite the alluring rabbit food bag that crackled in my arms, Big Mama was having none of it.
Ah! The sense of freedom beneath those paws as she clawed the neighbor’s lawn! I began to admire her for her smarts as we shooed her back into the garage. She hid under our sports car whilst we closed the doors to catch our breath.
“Maybe she’ll tire out.” Husband said flatly as he shuffled back into the dry house.
Strengthened from our breakfast, we set back outside to corner Big Mama in the garage. She slipped our grasp, scampering out into the rain. After chasing her 360 around the house, I finally nabbed her near the garbage cans. Wild-eyed and ready to box me with all her might, Big Mama seemed to give a sigh of relief when she returned to the safety of her cage.
“Freedom’s not all it’s cracked up to be,” I could almost hear her say. Sprawling out on her warm bedding, she immediately fell asleep to the licks of her grateful brother.
Jonathan Franzen knows this. He penned a gargantuan novel aptly called Freedom that takes us to Minnesota, New Jersey and even West Virginia. A family tale of triumph, defeat and deviance, Freedom teaches us readers that while we may get what we truly desire, it’s not always what will make us happy.
Big Mama learned that lesson this morning. She taught me a great deal in her cheeky attempt at escape. Sometimes we need to break out of our cages to taste the other side of the grass. It is then that we realize our side of the fence is just fine too.
If you find yourself wanting to break free, do it so you know what it feels like. You may just find, however, that after all that effort, everything you were ever looking for has always been within your grasp.