Ever wonder about the optimism of squirrels?

I was standing in the doorway on last Friday morning and noticed a squirrel in the yard. Since I’ve been on this planet for a number of years, I’m no stranger to outdoor creatures. Squirrels are cute. They scamper and scurry and always make me smile. This one seemed exceptionally energetic. It was springing through the grass as if on a mission. I soon discovered why. The busy little squirrel had a nut. The fascinating thing was the slight of hand it used to get it buried. Performing the magic trick quickly, it then stood there in a “ta-da” moment. I next expected the squirrel to take a bow but it joyfully bounded off instead. So, I then thought:

You have to be pretty optimistic to be a squirrel. Have to assume you will be around to possibly need that nut at a later date. Tomorrow is not promised but hey…just in case.

I found this particular squirrel to be so significant because I watched it while waiting for my husband to pick me up. We were to attend the funeral of a friend and, at that moment, I needed that little dose of optimism.

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2 Responses to “Ever wonder about the optimism of squirrels?”

  1. Addofio Says:

    To me, the lesson to be learned from the tension between the “life is short” message of your friend’s death, and the squirrel’s optimism, is balance. People often advise us to live as though today were our last day as though there is something spriitually profound to be learned from the maxim, and perhaps there is. But it the advice usually irritates me–too facile, too simplistic. Would the squirrel have been burying nuts if s/he thought s/he would be gone the next day? Probably not. And then–what would become of the poor squirrel the following winter? Not good. Living entirely for the future, always discounting the present in favor of some future goal, likewise not good; one can while away and entire lifetime that way. We need balance, and while a reminder of the neglected side can be a good corrective when we are getting out of balance, it’s important to remember that the goal is balance, so we don’t just flip from one state of imbalance to another, like a teeter-totter.

  2. EclecticGeek Says:

    Living my life as if tomorrow was not promised and living my life as if today were my last, to me, are slightly different. I don’t think I could handle living my life as if today were my last. I would be way too overindulgent. There’s a post on my other blog about eating a Hostess fruit pie the night before my surgery that I will hold up as proof. The evening before, I had come to terms with certain things and was actually at peace. Looked over the pre-op instructions once more and noticed the midnight food curfew. All of a sudden, the “what if this is it” thought popped into my brain and I really wanted to consume junk. So, even though I hadn’t eaten a fruit pie in years and even though I almost never ate that late at night, I consumed fried chicken, a BOX of french fries, and at least one Hostess fruit pie (cherry, I think). There’s no way I could handle the pressure of “today is your last day”. I prefer “tomorrow is not promised”. There is no guarantee that the next day will occur but there’s a probability that it will. It is necessary to make plans. I still do but I also enjoy the day-to-day.

    I agree. Balance is important. That is why I need the reminders.


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