Their Personal Lives
Dear Spirit to Spirit friend,
I was reading on the patio the other day and suddenly my eyes moved to a branch of the tree (Stella by name) that shades the patio. There on the branch closest to me was a young squirrel, all stretched out, lying on his belly, deeply resting. His color blended so perfectly with the tree branch that they were hard to tell apart.
I'd never seen this in person before. I felt as if I was being privileged with an up close and personal look into the life of this squirrel- and perhaps all squirrels. I couldn't stop watching this precious young being enjoying the sweetness of a perfect summer day and a perfect resting spot. Gifting me with a deeper look into how he lives in more private moments, perhaps not often witnessed by many human beings.
After a little while, he moved to a nearby stump on the tree and began a very extensive cleaning program. With tremendous enthusiasm, he scratched, pulled little bugs from
his body and ate them, and chewed on his fingers to make sure they were clean. At times he reminded me of a cat and then a chimpanzee and then a raccoon as he groomed. He took his time and was quite thorough.
It was a great joy to be taken into the more intimate side of this squirrel's life. We usually
see squirrels looking for nuts, eating acorns, chasing another squirrel around the yard.
We assume that this is squirrel and we know them. Truly we don't. With one tiny glimpse
of their lives we make an assumption about them and reduce them to a small view.
When we have a moment of witnessing something more personal, something beyond the ordinary appearance/activites of squirrel, we can get a real feel for who they are and perhaps experience a deeper connection. And then we can ask the question: who are you squirrel, how do you think, feel, and live? What is important to you in your life?
And... we can ask that question of animals of all species. When we learn about them in documentaries or in reading articles, we come to know a lot about behaviors, habits, and lifestyles. And yet- is that all of who they are? All of what each individual is?
Of course, we can't get to know each animal in the world individually. And yet, as we are curious and observant, we may receive the gift of being brought into a personal moment with one who sees life, lives life, in a very different way. We may be taken into a sweet zone of intimacy with one of another species and experience deeper connection and understanding.
Then, perhaps, we'll get a surprise. Like feeling intimately connected to a sweet young squirrel sleeping on a branch and grooming himself. And as we are taken into this animal's inner life even for just a moment, our perception of this animal- and all animals- may shift in profound ways.
In Gratitude & Love, Joanna