He hesitated with his arm on the door frame, looking at the floor. The car was packed and the engine was running. A peacefully uneasy silence began...
He said slightly sighing, “Well I am going now.”
And I said.....”I have taught you all I know. I have given you all I have. You go into a world where I have never been, and will encounter and solve problems I have never seen. You have all the tools to survive. And you possess all the means to find any new tools that you will need.....I believe in you."
And then he paused and looked at me really funny, dipping his head to the side, and said, "What movie or book did that come from?"
And I said “None, I am making it up as we go.”
.... because I was.
It is hard for us Moms to turn loose of our Sons and let them fly free of the nest.
But we must.
Then we cry.
The Average Squirrel’s Brain (2007)
Just how large is the average squirrel’s brain? No, the furry, tree-climbing animal with the long bushy tail…..not that boyfriend or the goofy freckled kid next door. The ANIMAL squirrel, you know. Missouri Tree Monkey. Tail-flipping Mister Attitude with an extra lively dose of jump and bounce. That critter. Just how large is the AVERAGE squirrel’s brain? Probably not very large. Because their heads are small, of course. You know, the LENGTH x DEPTH x WIDTH deal….as lack of space to adequately occupy a given volume. Bla..Bla...Bla…Bla…and so it goes.
Four squirrels this very morning caught my eye as they played in the park. Skirting horizontally around the scattered trees. Upside down, downside up, hopping and leaping, just happy to draw breath. Thankful for the sunshine which arrived promptly on time after the rain and fog. You could almost hear their tiny critter voices saying….
“Hey Bud! Over here!”
“Ha! Gotcha….now you’re It!”
“Aaack! Missed me you furry scoundrel!”
“Harley! Get your flea bitten carcass down here and bury some nuts!”
“Where’d you put the walnuts Ed?”
“Uh, I dunno. In the ground about 3 paws deep….kinda maybe sorta over there in the grass by those bushes. Yeah, exactly and precisely there in that fence row. Yeah, there Ma.”
“Okay Axle Bushytail Treeleaper, you are too slow to catch me today.”
“Oh go leap out of a tree.”
How large can their brains be? They are running around everyday, burying nuts, sleeping in holes and nests of leaves. Playing carefree and unconcerned about tomorrow or even later today, they spend their short lives. Kind of blissful and empty-headed for a creature…don’t you think? Well, maybe and maybe not.
Do you see many squirrels during the middle hours of the day? Think about it. In the cool freshness of morning and the calm easiness of the evening hours they bounce around everywhere. Then Poof! They are put up at noonday and in darkness. A nap at noon and a whole night’s sleep….I could probably leap from branch to branch like Tarzan with a lifestyle like that. And were these not the hours The Lord walked in The Garden with Adam and Eve? Hmmm….
And the burying nuts and forgetting where they put them….that seems kind of stupid. Or maybe not. Is it so stupid to plant trees and seed the earth for a harvest another will reap years from now? Sounds maybe more selfless than stupid. Long-term rather than short-term. Preferring others’ welfare before ourselves. Hmmm, again.
Then there is the blissfulness and carefree attitude. You know the hunters may come this evening and end many a furry life to feed a hungry family of humans residing nearby. Or the neighbor boy and his silent but deadly pellet gun may pick the occasional long-tailed fuzzy beast off of my Aunt Bev’s birdfeeder. You talk about one mad lady. Wooo Boy! Herself being an accessory to the murder, having lured the unsuspecting quarry in with free food. Now his lifeless carcass is slumped like a ragdoll across sunflower seeds and milo. Hmmmm...another story.
This brings up the free food issue, which is a subordinate of the carefree issue. What school of annoying and cute do average squirrel’s attend to train us humans to feed them….for free?! How much money is spent to keep them out of birdfeeders and they still manage to hang with one toe and contort like Houdini to get the food anyway? And then we refill the feeder. Go figure!
It must be their small brains. Perhaps small brains don’t have room for clouded thoughts and moral dilemmas. Maybe small brains don’t allow for the cares of this world to cause sleepless nights of turmoil or rob average squirrels of a refreshing noonday nap. Maybe the small brains of average squirrels have too little room for greed to lay up stores for themselves beyond what they can use. Perhaps the small squirrel brains limit how much self glory they can contain for what they do for others. Forgetting self for the sake and preservation of their species. Oh, that all species could have adequately small brains like the average squirrel.
Note to Self: There are things you Know and things you Think. ALWAYS go with what you KNOW.
The kindest thing you can do for anyone is
to let them be just who they are and who they are becoming.
That is what a friend does.
Note to self: Be a friend to others and myself everyday.
Why I journal.
Many times we feel what we do not understand. Life swirls us around, and cracks us like the knotted string on the end of a bullwhip. Or as the blacksmith models steel, Life heats us to red-orange in the fire. Then follows by beating us with the heavy hammer, and a plunge into the cold water.
That is a part of our Human Race, our journey….and as we grow older and more seasoned maybe we begin to see it as more of a quest. For it is a quest, a quest to become Ourselves. I did not always know that, but now I do.
We grow and are whittled, again and again….formed into what we need to be. And we do not usually know what that is, so it makes it hard for us to see.
Our Maker has purpose in what seems often to us to be madness running wild. He works with intent within us and our lives - this I truly believe. And as with most things a person believes…I have seen it BECAUSE I believe it.
Throughout my life I have sought to write down those feelings I incur during those paradoxical and intense times. It is critical to jot them to paper in the shortly following moments. Because when I fail to record them, I forget their intense edges when attempting to remember them later…until the next time.
Next Time, when it is too late to help me. Better to have mulched my thoughts beforehand. Too late when I glimpse the sameness, as I am snapped at the end of a cord again. BUT even then, it is another opportunity to get those feelings penned down to a page.
Always it is much better to have written and worked the feelings out beforehand.
This journaling method has been very helpful, as I try to understand what surrounds and what is within me. It has helped with perspective…not only in bearing the acceleration and snapping, the flip back and silent exhausted fall of a cracked knotted rope end….but in seeing myself from outside of myself as I am moved thusly.
The whole tapestry of God’s Masterpiece presents differently when you stand far back from it, instead of focusing up close on one individual thread. We are each only a single thread in a Larger Work.
That is why I journal....to find myself in the Tapestry and make sense of it all.
Yellow Jackets' Nest... a HUGE one that came out of our wall last summer.
Makes me wonder.....
The photos do not do it justice....it was so tediously fashioned...amazing.
“Hope is like a bird that senses the dawn and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark.”
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