Winter Gifts

Looking Eastward from the cabin, the morning sun illuminates the greenery from behind. The effect is to create a wall of glowing life. Add the sound track of bird calls, and it can become overwhelming. The trees seem indistinguishable from each other until, though a break in the canopy, I see movement. It is some ways off, so I can't make out what it is. Is it Hawk? Is it Fisher? I go inside and get the binoculars, and return for a better look. It takes some time for the image to resolve enough for me to identify who it is. After the moment of recognition, I find myself thinking, “Oh. It's just Squirrel.”

“Just Squirrel,” I ponder. Squirrel has taught me about bravery, and perseverance, about how too much thinking can get in the way of doing. Squirrel has taught me that when you make a mistake, the best response is to make another attempt, and about the importance of having fun, even when it seems like work should be the primary focus. I am struck by how easy it is to take Squirrel for granted in the face of Summer's abundance. In Winter, I am so grateful to see Squirrel come out of the nest to forage in the snow. Now it seems Squirrel is “Just Squirrel. Today I will be paying attention to how my gratitude can be diverted by abundance. I will be doing my best to pay attention to how the Summer of plenty can obscure my appreciation of the rare gifts that are also a part of Winter's scarcity.