Or "What's Going On Down There?"
Groundhog day has me meditating on what we don't see --that whole subterranean world under the snow. Never mind that I was snowed in for two days this week (again!) and the report is that neighbour Phil (Punxsutawney) saw his shadow and we will have 6 more weeks of this muted and stalled sluggishness...A walk earlier in the week in the middle of the schizophrenia of freeze and thaw revealed that many gardens in my neighbourhood, including mine show that "There are more things (em, under) Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in (my) philosophy." Not everyone is asleep in this winter torpidity. MOLES (Talpa europaea) are apparently quite busy in their blind housekeeping. I began wondering where else around the world one might see these tell-tale signs...France, England--just how extensive is this subway system? And has Spring Cleaning already begun?
"The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said 'Bother!' and 'O blow!' and also 'Hang spring-cleaning!' and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat. Something up above was calling him imperiously, and he made for the steep little tunnel which answered in his case to the gavelled carriage-drive owned by animals whose residences are nearer to the sun and air. So he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged and then he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, 'Up we go! Up we go!' till at last, pop! his snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.
'This is fine!' he said to himself. 'This is better than whitewashing!' The sunshine struck hot on his fur, soft breezes caressed his heated brow, and after the seclusion of the cellarage he had lived in so long the carol of happy birds fell on his dulled hearing almost like a shout. Jumping off all his four legs at once, in the joy of living and the delight of spring without its cleaning, he pursued his way across the meadow till he reached the hedge on the further side."