Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Little Rabbit Named Skittles

Take a look at the photo below, The white, spotted rabbit on the left is a dwarf lop named Skittles:

This photo is over twelve years old; it shows Skittles next to his "cage mate," a Dutch dwarf called Scooter. Both Skittles and Scooter were two of the four rabbits owned by me and my previous wife Tina. The other three, including Scooter, died since Tina and I separated. And a couple of days ago Tina told me Skittles also died. He was over 13 years old.

In the grand scheme of things, the death of a rabbit is not a major event. Skittles was a very small and insignificant part of the universe.

But I remember how playful and curious he was when he was young. The shape of his mouth, including the fur color, made him look like he was always smiling. When he lay in my lap and I petted his head, it was as if all the tension and angst would drain right out of me. He would lick my fingers and rub his chin against me, which is what rabbits do when they want to mark something as theirs.

Yes, Skittles was small and insignificant, but so are subatomic particles like quarks, leptons, and bosons. When added together, they make up everything in the universe. And when you add together the happiness and fun that creatures like Skittles bring into life, the result is just as incredible. Add up all your interactions with animals like Skittles, and add to that your interactions with your friends and family, and you suddenly realize what the point of life is, what gives our existence here purpose. The meaning of life is not found in grandiose plans or by acquiring a ton of bling you can't take with you when you die. Instead, it is found in accumulating as many small, everyday joys as possible, like the joy of holding a cute little rabbit who wants nothing more than to play with you for a while.

Skittle was a sweet little boy and I'm going to really miss him.