The grass blades are easy to push to either side, but there are so many of them. The closer the Southern Toad gets to his destination the more crowded the grass becomes. 



He knows that an open, grey, easy path is awaiting him. Finally, he pushes through with all of his might. It’s like coming out of a car wash when the dryer is blowing and squeezing until you pop out of the tunnel. 



Ahhh, sidewalk. Open space, warm concrete and the setting sun. Relaxation. A toad’s favorite getaway. 



Change scenes. You have never seen a sunset so vibrant with color. It’s amazing how quickly those colors disappear and the darkness creeps in. The time has come to point your beach cruiser home and enjoy the ride with each easy push of the pedal.



“What is that on the sidewalk?” You squint and lean forward trying to make out the shadow of the blob in front of your front tire as you slowly decelerate. 



A last ditch effort of one ill-fated jerk of the handlebars leaves you face down with a cream-colored bicycle resting on your back.  As you lay there, wondering if anyone caught that on video, you see that the brown, bumpy, plump toad hasn’t moved a muscle.  This makes you smile.



Now that’s Biopheelin’ it! 



Dr. E.O. Wilson coined the term “Biophilia,” describing it as the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life.



Obviously I have tweaked the term a little bit.  If you’re Biopheelin’ it, then you love all living things. 



That Southern toad has the potential to live longer than ten years.  He eats ants, bees, beetles, crickets, roaches, snails and other invertebrates. Tell me he’s not great to have around.



Living things need living things.



Not only do we make an occasional, accidental “save” of a living life, we instinctively look to embrace and search out ways to make a difference.



How often have you found yourself looking for turtles crossing the road as you slow your car down to the actual speed limit? I have helped a box turtle, soft shelled turtle, yellow-bellied slider, Florida river cooter and many other species of animals as well. 



The feeling of knowing that I helped that animal continue its path in life is very sweet.



We do want to nurture our surroundings and those living things that inhabit our surroundings. I challenge you to be aware. Let your inner motherly love come out. Show compassion, patience and love.



Living things need living things.



So, when you are lying on the pavement with a tire track across your nose because you avoided squishing a cockroach (yes, they count too), you can smile knowing that you are definitely Biopheelin’ it.



Paul Arthur is assistant director at E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center in Freeport. The center is an environmental education facility serving students, teachers and visitors with engaging exhibits, instructors and animal encounters.