Thursday, April 15, 2010

Face time with our pet squirrel.

I and those around me tend to find odd, endearing things. And then we get attached.

Case in point: my son found a baby squirrel on his walk home from school the other day. He gravitated to the small, frisky, twitchy rodent, and apparently we have a new pet. He poops at whim. It's a feature I oddly envy.

Today I went into my son's room, where the squirrel is caged, and there he was, comfortably nested in his comfy home.

It seemed so incongruous. Squirrels usually play chicken when I'm driving, or dart in a manic zig-zag up trees. And now there's a little squirrel in my house. The attachment seems to be mutual.

Of course the squirrel is happy. He's warm, he's fed, he's comfortable and appreciated. What squirrel wouldn't want to live this lavish, lush life into which he's descended?

Today, when I had some face time with the squirrel, I thought about how the little rodent we seem to have adopted lives a life very similar to a whole lot of humans.

Not unlike our comfortable, caged squirrel, many of us have become accustomed to our surroundings, resigned to our circumstance, drenched in the familiar.

And the squirrel, like we humans who caged him, has forgotten his passionate origins of nut gathering and car avoidance.

Long story short, today I looked into the squirrel's cage and saw myself, saw our species a bit more clearly. It was a metaphorical view, of course.

Like the squirrel in my son's room, I think we all have a tendency to become complacent with whatever comfortable confinement into which we find ourselves caged.

There are just enough of the necessities provided to make it seem like less of a confinement than it really is.

So, like the squirrel, we lose sight of the passions that once were important, because we're comfortable. In the squirrel's case, passion was probably all about gathering nuts, darting about randomly and avoiding cars. For us, it used to be about what we were Going to Be, our hobbies, our obsessions, our passions; and it becomes like the life of our squirrel - all about the growing of the 401K, paying the bills, checking to see what distraction can be found on the computer or tee vee.

I may be delving too deeply finding connections between the furry-tailed rodent in my house and my life - our lives - but the similarities seemed more resonant than the differences during my squirrelly face time today.

1 comment:

  1. I would pay money to hear the scream that comes from you when that thing gets out of that cage and is running loose!!!' ha ha