Sunday morning and like most mornings during this glorious time of year, I wake to the melody of insects and frogs outside the window… and my furry friend who is biting my arm. Not too hard, just hard enough as to rouse me from slumber.

“I’m hungry, wake up — feed me” is his not so subtle message. As he busies himself in the act of filling his cavernous belly, I have just enough time to fill the kettle and grind coffee beans, before I get the call to go explore the neighbourhood together. He likes to patrol the village, culminating in a running race along the road next to the rice fields —now empty. Then back inside for a seconded breakfast, before insisting that I sit as it is now time for him to settle on my lap and lick every crevice. Unwanted hairs float through the air landing on my own breakfast, which I struggle to prepare. Sipping my now cold coffee, the question of “who has who trained?” comes to mind. But it really doesn’t matter as I enjoy his company just as much as he does mine. With our 90% shared DNA, we’re more alike than different. Evident as we equally enjoy the comical-thrilling game of chase around the house, accumulating in a friendly mock fight —he most always wins. It’s mind boggling to think that us vertebrates (including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) only add up to roughly .005 of 1 percent of the total number of species existing on Earth today. Most of which we can’t see with our own eyes, let alone comprehend. Yet all are integral in the running of our shared ecosystem.

What a fool I must seem, bumbling my way through life under the impression that I was the center of the universe. Everything wasn’t created for the sole purpose of my self-indulgent pleasure and expression?

When it comes time to create & express yourself, sit & breathe and contemplate our shared DNA and symbiotic ecosystem.