Leaping into Nothingness


toad picture by Josh Scholten

Toads are smarter than frogs. Like all of us who are not good-
looking they have to rely on their wits. A woman around the
beginning of the last century who was in love with frogs wrote
a wonderful book on frogs and toads. In it she says if you place
a frog and a toad on a table they will both hop. The toad will
stop just at the table’s edge, but the frog with its smooth skin
and pretty eyes will leap with all its beauty out into nothing-
ness. I tried it out on my kitchen table and it is true. That may
explain why toads live twice as long as frogs. Frogs are better at
romance though. A pair of spring peepers were once observed
whispering sweet nothings for thirty-four hours. Not by me.
The toad and I have not moved.
~Tom Hennen  “Plains Spadefoot Toad”



I too am like a toad.
Plain, immobile,
risk-averse, contemplative,
tending to plop or splat
rather than a graceful carefree
leaping into nothingness.

Someone has to hold down the swamp,
peering over the edge of the abyss
belching out an occasional thoughtful croak
while dainty peepers sing their hearts out
like so many sleighbells jingling gaily
throughout the endless night.




3 thoughts on “Leaping into Nothingness

  1. Lots to contemplate with this post. So the frog takes that leap into space, into nothingness; the toad stays stuck, safe for the moment; and we step out with faith in the unknown with the arms of the Savior to catch us if we falter. I’m so glad to have His love surround me, guide me and to share with my grandchildren(and others) as they step into their future filled with the unknown.
    Thanks for sharing Emily. This is very powerful as I see such a spiritual battle taking place in so many lives and places.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely delightful.
    Then — one gets hit with the powerful truth of the metaphor with its full meaning for our lives. I am willing to be one of those ‘holding down the swamp, peering over the edge of the abyss’ as you say, Emily, because I know that we have the Holy Spirit within and modern-day prophetic voices as faithful sentries, warning us of the perils of the abysses ever present in our world – an arena beset by spiritual battles (as Laura Alfana points out in her perceptive comment).

    These sentries warn us of the perils of the abysses that we face from those whose false ideologies and glibness of speech promise us ‘utopia’ if we but accept their easy ways out. All we have to do is to reject Jesus’ teachings and follow their ways instead. Jesus never promised us that it would be easy or free from danger – it certainly was not so for Him.
    We have His promise that He will be with us ‘until the end,’ when we will enter His version of ‘utopia’ – His eternal Kingdom.

    Thank you for this today, Emily. I doubt that I will ever encounter a real toad, but if I do I will remember and smile knowingly — and blow him a kiss!


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