I see them at night, after work, when I pull into a parking spot.
By the hedgerow: round, stone-shaped shadows, but then a fluff tail pops up, a hop gives them away. Sometimes one bunny, often a pair.
They give me hope.
These creatures are huge, from nibbling the grass and the plants by the farmer’s field. They pause when caught in my headlights, then scamper back to the safety of the brush. Sometimes they stay until long after I leave, if I don’t make too much noise or movement.
Even in the snow, they are out there. It’s late enough in the day they must not fear the eagles and other hunters in the area.
It’s usually at late dusk or already dark, so photos are difficult. In my excitement I end up with pixellated brown and white blobs against gray grass, so I choose instead to observe, breathe, take them into my memory.
One dusk walk last summer it was a “twelve-bunny night,” with various bucks and does nibbling grapevines and greenery near the apartments. A bevy of bunnies under bushes and bopping in the open field; a score skittering between buildings where small children run themselves, wobbly with bikes and balls.
Another night we mourned a small rabbit smashed on the road, and wondered if it was the result of deliberate cruelty, or a mistaken dash across the asphalt.
Could you be more careful? we asked—of drivers and of bunnies. We will be, now.
A dear friend used to say that bunnies were a sign of good luck, or good things to come. She gave us all little charms of smiling bunnies that made me smile in turn. When I see rabbits, I remember to think positively, for all the good in the midst of what can feel like overwhelming bad in our world.
Every chance I get, I look for bunnies on the lawn. Every chance.