Last morning, I chanced upon the love play of toads in our lily pond. I am not too charmed by reptiles, especially the ones with the warts and bumps. But something about this pair, made me linger. It is hot and humid where we live, so perhaps, observing the two of them in the clear cool waters refreshes me. At first sight, I think them to be a mother toad with her baby toad. My heart fills with motherly love, as I recall the beautiful and endearing sight of fluffy, baldish, cygnets on the back of mother swans during the spring season.

​But after spending a long time watching the subtle mannerisms of the two, I find it hard to believe that the littler frog on the back of the larger one, could to be a fragile, new born, baby toad. The smaller toad has a firm, stubborn clasp, that appears faintly annoying to the larger toad. I decide to read up about toads and their behaviour, and am surprised to note that I have been observing a mating ritual of two garden toads. The greater surprise is that the larger toad is female, while the smaller toad is a male. I like the attitude of the buxom female toad. I am especially charmed by her flamboyant move at the end. After this move, both of them, sink down and almost touch the bottom of the shallow pond, like two deep sea divers, helplessly plummeting down to the bottom of a dark ocean, in an utter surrender, when in an unfortunate, unforeseen accident, the rope that holds them buoyant and safe, snaps unexpectedly!

They both remain still in the shadowy depths of the pond. A few bubbles rise to the surface in a meditative exhalation. In a few minutes, she rises to the surface of the water with him. Her eyes, remain wide open. His eyes blink, during her sudden, unpredictable dives. She is unperturbed by my proximity. I feel a bit uneasy about her direct, open gaze. She swims to the edge of the pond, almost towards me. Will she hop out, unexpectedly? I allow her, her space. I allow him, his passionate embrace. Tuning in to the animal medicine of the frog, I allow myself my cleansing. Returning home, I too enter a pool of water, and joyfully ribet, like the frog, from one lily pad to the next. Cleansed, and rejuvenated, my being now overflows with peace and restfulness.