You never forget your first gopher

There was a rustling in the bush behind me as I sat munching lunch one day last week.

Probably just a bird, I thought, and carried on eating a tasty Thai vege curry.

But the rustling continued, and began to sound distinctly un-birdlike, so I twizzled around and came face-to-face with – a gopher.

My first.


Coincidentally I’d heard a piece on the radio in the week about one woman’s battle with these little burrowing rodents, who were making an almighty mess of her garden, but this little fellow was actually pretty adorable (sorry gardeners).

He was chewing through substantial twigs (sorry Mary and Mike, Stanford grounds-people) and dragging them down into his burrow to eat, presumably, even though that doesn’t sound terribly appetising.

Gopher: What’s for lunch?

Waiter: Stick.

Gopher: Super. I think I’ll take the Stick Tartare, please.

Actually this small rodent/writer rendezvous made my day.

It also made me reflect on the number of times in my life when I haven’t turned round to pay proper attention.

How often have I ignored my surroundings, particularly when I’ve been going through a period of low mood?

So, however you’re currently doing, may I suggest upping your attention level as you go about your day today?

Although I can’t promise you a gopher, I’m certain you’ll notice something equally fascinating, and it’s a great (and pretty painless) way to give yourself a sneaky mood lift.

3 thoughts on “You never forget your first gopher

  1. this is good advice, I try to do this as I go about , sometimes I find it hard when low to do this though as when I go out (in a very urban space that is not that lovely and isn’t in a great part of town) I find it hard to see the lovely or unusual and see the drab and unsightly. It can be hard to look through that without reflecting on the dire state that I perceive the world to be in. But I do try.

  2. Great reminder! Your post made me smile. There is a groundhog living close to my neighborhood. On my way home, I always take the route past his favorite snacking location. Just the thought of seeing that chunky groundhog enjoying life and living in the moment reminds me to do the same. (Not the chunky part.)

  3. I live near a park that has miles and miles of wildlife and I am lucky enough to regularly see the kingfisher – once this week so far – but it is too easy to forget about the usual birdies!! So I try to make sure I note them too…teeny tiny wrens, the robins, blackbirds, herons etc
    Great reminder, Jon, thank you 🙂

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