image of cute squirrel staring in distance-funny

Staring Squirrels, Wonder and the Power of the Present Moment

In Memory by Nathan ToLeave a Comment

image of cute squirrel staring in distance-funny

Staring Contest (Haiku)

squirrel perched
on thawed powerline–
you watch me watch you

The Power of Pausing: Commentary

The snowstorm took a breath that day. The sun was a bit shy, but started to show itself anyway. From the second floor, I walk mid-way down the stairs and pause to study the drapes of snow covering the parked cars and apartments across the alleyway.

That’s when I saw the squirrel. This cute little acrobat was bouncing along the apartment’s powerline.

This scene likely sounds super random. And I’m not sure why, but I can’t forget this random squirrel outside my place in Montreal.

After all, it was an incredibly ordinary moment in late February.

But maybe there was something about this brief moment of calm between snowstorms, that hint of sunshine, tidbit of warmth and a bit of surprise that this little dude was out during this freezing winter.

Somehow, that moment, perhaps announced for me that spring was coming soon. And that the worst of the winter had passed.

Or maybe I projected how this squirrel was as crazy as I was to walk around in this weather.

But then again, that’s a Montreal squirrel quite used to such temperatures. I’m the only one here from the Westcoast far more unfamiliar with this kind of weather (even though I enjoyed the snowstorms, funny enough).

My phone camera, as awesome as it was, couldn’t zoom enough to capture the squirrel or the moment. So, I kind of just stared at that squirrel, sitting on his fiber-optic and rubbery pedestal far above me.

As the little dude stared back at me, I made all sorts of random squirrel sounds in lieu of my camera shutter:

–squeak squeak–

–tchk tchk–

Squirrel probably couldn’t hear me, and he/she just kinda kept staring at me while I stared back at him.

And in that moment…time disappeared.

My friends might describe how that’s so typical of me and so descriptive of my many romantic encounters.

But I think that moment sticks around in my memory for another reason apart from human-animal relationships.

To be honest, I think this tremendously ordinary moment reminded me of a far more simple moment that can only be described with big words and terms like joy, wonder, miracles and the power of the present moment.

I think this ordinary memory stays with me because it invites me to remember that there’s something beautiful that I can find everyday, no matter what I’m feeling that morning, afternoon or night.

All I need to “do” , sometimes, is just one simple thing…to pause.

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