What the Squirrel Taught Me

Sitting at my desk in my home office, I have a view of our little garden in the back of our home and of the Salem River beyond. It’s easy to take for granted because my mind is always occupied with the work-related task at hand. But I usually take moments to notice our  neighbors drop in at our garden – squirrels, occasional butterflies, blue jays, orioles, and seagulls.

One morning, about a month ago, a squirrel had busied himself in one of our flower pots digging for food, I guess….I don’t know what else squirrels would dig for. Anyway, the pot contained only soil, nothing else. I watched him dig furiously as dirt spat up from his swiping paws. I admired his tenacity while knowing he would never hit pay dirt (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Not wanting to see him waste any more of his energy I went out and shushed him away. I returned to my desk, looked out the window, and there he was, back at it again. I went out a second time and gently chased him away after explaining to him that I was only doing it so he wouldn’t keep wasting time on a fruitless project.

He returned again to the pot, determined to defy the efforts of benevolent intervention. I just watched. He would have to discover his futility on his own.

We learn by the teachings of the carrot and the stick, incentive and consequence. Life offers us choices and our choices are the methods applied for our learning and growth.

It’s said that Earth is a schoolroom and we come here to learn lessons that aid our spiritual evolution. Nature has countless lessons to teach if we register for Her classes. The squirrel is one of my teachers. The squirrel taught me that it’s important to know when to keep digging, and when to move on.

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