image of cute squirrel staring in distance-funny

Romance with a Squirrel: Wonder and the Power of the Present Moment

In Memory by Nathan ToLeave a Comment

image of cute squirrel staring in distance-funny

Romance with a Squirrel (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 walked mid-way down the stairs and paused to study the drapes of snow covering the parked cars and apartments across the alleyway.

That’s when I saw this fluffy squirrel. This cute little dude or dudette was bouncing along the apartment’s powerline; the squirrel is a stellar acrobat.

This scene likely sounds super random. And I’m not sure why, but I just can’t forget the story of this brief romance between myself and this random squirrel outside my place in Montreal.

Alright, it’s hardly a romance. Perhaps a momentary flirtation. Still, with the stories I like to create in my weird mind, it’s a beautifully innocent romance for me, with this squirrel.

This romance arrived in an incredibly ordinary moment for me, in late February. But maybe there was something about this brief moment of calm between snowstorms, that hint of sunshine, and tidbit of warmth that captured my intrigue. Or maybe it was just a bit of surprise that this little dude/dudette boldly ventured outside during this freezing winter.

The story of my romance with this squirrel continued. For in that moment, I imagined all the hope and joy that this squirrel represented for me; that spring was coming soon. And that the worst of the winter had passed.

Or perhaps I just thought that this squirrel was crazy to walk around in this weather. And I like crazy.

But then again, that’s a Montreal squirrel, likely quite familiar with such temperatures. Much more familiar than I am, surely. Perhaps, between the squirrel and me, I’m the only one in that whole neighbourhood from the Canadian Westcoast. I’m far more unfamiliar with this kind of weather, even as I’m strangely enjoying my first Eastern Canadian snowstorm.

Well, I wanted to capture my brief romance with this squirrel, so I took out my OnePlus 6 phone. But my phone camera, as awesome as it was, just couldn’t zoom enough to capture the squirrel hanging out on the powerline.

I just couldn’t adequately capture our glorious moment together.

So, I kind of just kept staring at that squirrel above me on that powerline, while blowing kisses and blessings.

Of course, the squirrel just kept sitting on her fiber-optic and rubbery pedestal, staring at me…hopefully curious, I imagine, about why this human offered such generous affections.

And, as I weirdly do when I’ve become much more familiarly acquainted with my human romances, I decided to try communicating with the squirrel in her love language. Since my love language involves words of encouragement and affirmation, I decide to make all sorts of random squirrel sounds in lieu of my camera shutter. So I said:

–squeak squeak–

–tchk tchk–

–meow meow–

Squirrel probably couldn’t hear me, and likely couldn’t fathom why I’d resort to feline languages at the end of our relationship.

So, she just kinda kept staring at me while I stared back at her.

And in that moment…time disappeared.

Now, my friends might describe how that’s so typical of me and so descriptive of my many romantic encounters, glories and disasters alike.

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

Despite the quirkiness of this tale that exists solely in my brain, I also see a much needed life insight through the silly fantasy that keeps making me smile.

To be honest, I think this tremendously ordinary moment reminded me of what matters to me most right now. And right now, it seems as if I need a simple moment, filled only with words and experiences like joy, wonder, miracles and the power of the present moment.

I know these are often very common words that a coach/psychotherapist with spiritual inclinations (like myself) gravitates towards. I also indulge in those words as often as a toddler indulges in their spumoni ice cream.

Still, I think those are powerful words–joy, wonder, miracles and the power of the present moment. I think, like the most powerful words and expressions, they invite me to reflect on it carefully…to chew on it, instead of simply taking a bite and spitting it back out like some cheap tobacco.

I think this ordinary memory and these (extra)ordinary words stay 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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