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  • Writer's pictureJudith A. Boggess


Updated: Feb 18, 2023

LESSON FROM SQUIRREL (c) 1 December 2022

This morning I get out of bed and look to the East to greet Grandfather Sun, who today is bright white with a hint of lemon-yellow. The window spills cold air onto my waking body. My breath fogs the window. I am grateful for another day of service, and I am thankful for all I have. I send Peace, Healing and Blessings to family, friends and mentors. Gazing at the ground below, I spy a squirrel scampering around in the dry leaves, presumably looking for acorns. He’ll stash food in crevices of trees and find some to eat during the cold snow of winter.

Crazy Squirrel scampers up a fat, old oak tree, its top branches spread across the blue sky, a lace-like fan of twigs. Squirrel leaps from one branch to another skinnier one. He continues his uphill trek until he jumps to another tall, thinner oak landing on a twig the size of your pinky. Somehow, he maintains his balance swaying back and forth and up and down. And here he goes again, running up this tree, and jumping to another, and another. Finally, he clambers upward. Squirrel is going to his nest a few feet from the top branches. With one acrobatic leap, he lands in his nest of leaves and twigs and disappears.

Why didn't this nut-case of a squirrel just climb this tree in the first place? And why would he make a nest in a toothpick of a tree when there were grander oaks nearby? The word predator came to mind. Squirrel is protecting himself from predators! The first tree Squirrel ran up was about 80 years old, and any animal that climbs would have no problem scaling to the top if there was a nest to raid. Especially the Fisher! He has claws, climbs like a cat, and has teeth that could rip apart any animal his size or even larger. But the Fisher can't leap from one tree to another like a sly squirrel. Yes, Squirrel intuitively knows it is better to throw a predator off track by leaping from one tree to another. A predator could not keep up and, exhausted, would give up the chase. A squirrel even outwits hawks and eagles this way.

The nesting tree gets smaller and smaller as he nears the top, from there when threatened, Squirrel can leap from his perch to another tree, and another, and another, run down the giant oak, and flee across the dried leaves.

A Fisher, meanwhile, would be left contemplating his next move. He can't turn around and head down, he is not built that way. His descent is time-taking as he backs his butt to the ground, and Squirrel will be anywhere to be found.

We know animals are our teachers. If we pay attention and ask questions, Creator will answer.

So I ask: Are we to build our home where predators can't attack? Should we live in fear and fill our houses with security systems to feel safe? Should we take the safest or circuitous route to connect back to ourselves? Creator speak to me. Are we all on a shaky branch? Could it break and an aperture appear and swallow us up? Are we burdened by the climb of life because of the weight of the past and fear of the future we carry in a sack slung over our shoulder?

Are we jumping from one event to another, to another of life's circumstances, until we can believe in ourselves? We have talents, strength, and intelligence to connect to ourselves; to know we are protected and secure.

Is Squirrel grateful for being intelligent and capable and doing things aligned with his soul's purpose? His purpose is to gather acorns to feed him, birds, and insects when food is scarce and frozen under the snow. Squirrel also plants new trees with his scavenging and protects the future of the forest and Mother Earth. The trees clean the air we breathe. Squirrels are smart. They work in harmony with nature as humans jump from one learning experience to another. Will we ever trust that we will come home to ourselves and carry out our soul's purpose?

Perhaps our large brains believe money, a big house, and fancy car are a purpose for living. Maybe these large, intellectual brains overthink, while the Squirrel's tiny intuitive brain says, “This is what I am good at, taking care of myself, my family, and my friends, the winged ones, the four-legged, and even the two-legged who roast the acorns I shake from the trees”. The Squirrel says, “This is my purpose: to serve others and the least of these.”

The blue jays have come and are flying over the Squirrel's nest. One, two, three. Four. Five, six. Seven. Okay, I'm coming to feed you. I call my dog, "Sadie! Let's go feed the birds and then go to the Medicine Wheel," where I will say a prayer thanking the Creator for words to share. I am grateful for being reminded this squirrely woman has a purpose doing what she is doing right where she is, sharing what has been given and being safe in herself, and being a safe place for others to fall.

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