Sunday, October 2, 2011


I rounded the corner of the house, stepping into the backyard and noticed a black squirrel, walnut in mouth, running along the fence towards me. He/she (just how do you tell?) froze right beside me, about four feet away. I looked at the squirrel, and realized the creature was missing an eye. Couldn't see me. We both stood unmoving, me looking, the squirrel using whatever other senses it had to determine if I was danger or not. Then off it ran, down the fence and started digging in the neighbours garden to stash the walnut.

The neighbourhood is alive with the harvest of walnuts. Well, the crows and squirrels are busy. The occasional bang on the roof as the crows practice their bombing runs. The green debris of walnut skins scattered everywhere. I find great delight in all this activity. All through the summer, I laugh each time I pull up a weed in the garden and discover another sprouting walnut.

William James spoke of lightness, "Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things. In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf." Love how I have to work at lightness, how the gravity of darkness pulls so effortlessly. Good habits require determined effort that ultimatily buoy us.

Rumi keeps on coaching me, urging me forward and upwards:

Shams, why this inconsistency?
That we live within love
and yet we run away?
(The Shop)

I wonder how a one eyed squirrel still finds the courage to live, to venture out in the world, half blind to the dangers of eagles, hawks, and cats. I bet she/he wasn't thinking of the dangers at all, just caught up in all the walnutness of the world. So much abundance.


Annette said...

LOVE your last paragraph!
Our first little house sat on a half acre and was surrounded by 13 black walnut trees and one English walnut tree that we hung a swing from for the babies. I remember those sprouting walnuts and walnut skins laying around. Messy beauty. :o) In the fall though those trees would turn our little half acre into a blaze of golden light with their yellow leaves. I loved that.

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful rendition! You're an awesome writer. Thanks!