Recently I almost ran over two squirrels between my home and work,a distance of only a mile.
One ran under the car and luckily my wheels did not hit the squirrel as I drove over it.
Then, in the next block by the church, another squirrel ran up to the car, turned, and went back to the side of the road. So close, but I had missed that squirrel, too.
I gave thanks for not hitting either one of them, but it shook me up a little. I went into the church feeling anxious.
That morning, during an online class on Franciscan Spirituality, Fr.Richard Rohr taught us to look at any part of creation that day –such as an animal, flower, rock, or twig – and give thanks for its uniqueness and beauty. I began to think of the two squirrels that almost perished by my driving earlier in the day. I centered my thoughts and meditated on each one of them.
Sadly, while backing up into the street to go to an appointment, I noticed a dead squirrel in the road. It was right where I almost hitthat second squirrel. A sense of sadness came over me. I wondered,“What should I do? Should I get out of the car and go over to the squirrel, and move it from the road and say a prayer? Should I leave and let the lifeless creature remain in the road and continue to be hit by other cars?”
Since I was late for an appointment, I drove off.
In my gut, I wanted to go back and give thanks to God for the life of that squirrel, but I did not.
Instead, while driving away and looking at the squirrel in my rear view mirror, I gave thanks to the Almighty for creation and forbreathing life into that small creature. I said a prayer and continuedwith my day.
Later that evening, after presiding at the Eucharist, I told a parishioner about this experience. She said, "I invite you to look up what it means to notice or experience squirrels and see what you find out."
I thought, "Why not?" and in the middle of a restless night I searched.
This is what I found:
The Squirrel Totem
Chatter, scold, creature bold,
Warning all by your call.
bring within my range.
Warnings as free, send to me.
Gathering, Activity, Preparedness
The gathering power of Squirrel is a great gift.
It teaches us balance within the circle of gathering and giving out.
They remind us that in our quest for our goals,
it is vital to make time for play and socializing.
Squirrel teaches us to conserve our energy for times of need.
If your totem is Squirrel or Squirrel has recently entered your life,
lighten your load of things that are unnecessary –
things that you have gathered in the past and may be cluttering your life –
thoughts, worries, and stresses.
Squirrel is also the totem of action.
Ask yourself are you too active, not active enough, afraid of enough,
hung up on accumulating and collecting.
Squirrel people tend to be a little erratic – trying to do many things at once.
Take the time to stop and listen to your inner self – and don’t forget to play!
After reading the description, I sat in awe.
I think I am a Squirrel Person.
I offer gratitude for the awareness shown to me by three, bushy-tailed rodents, a parishioner, and wise sages who have been attentive to creation.
Now it is time for me to be attentive: to stop, run, gather, and play!