6 Lessons from Squirrel Watching

What can a squirrel teach us about overcoming obstacles?   

I love nature and try to spend as much time outdoors as possible.  I have been known to wrap up in a blanket for my morning visit with God’s creations. Quiet time with God.  Listening to the birds.  Nature. Full of lessons. Translating what I see into life lessons.   

My most favorite is squirrel-watching every morning that I can start my day outside. Wondering if there is logic and reasoning in those tiny brains or is it just instinct? 

I watch as Sylvester and Stanley, yes I have named them, scamper up a tree.   

I see Stanley run up a trunk.  Sylvester follows.  They travel to the very top branches. I hear them say “Now what.  It’s not here.  This is not it.”   

Swaying with the breeze they swerve their head looking both ways as they search for their destination.  I am amazed at how high they are.  “Wait new plans.  We are going over THERE.”  

Eyeing their destination, they do a 180 and head-first down the trunk.  I wonder if they feel the blood rushing to their brains.  “There it is over there.”   

A giant leap is needed.  One-two-three, LEAP!  Flying through the air, they land on a nearby tree only to repeat their routine. 

Watching Stanley and Sylvester, I think about their challenges to reach their destination and relate it to the obstacles that we face every day as a motherless daughter.   

All of us are constantly driven to be nurtured.  Feel unconditional love.  Unconditional acceptance.   

Here are 6 lessons as a motherless daughter we can learn from watching Stanley and Sylvester. 

  1. We start out, climbing our own tree (driven by our own purpose), often not reaching the place we want to go.  
  1. Like the squirrels we sometimes just start out without looking over the landscape and determining which is the best path. What is the best way for me to find nurturing?  Unconditional love?  Where can I find this?   
  1. Learning from Sylvester and Stanley, we often have to head back down and regroup.  
  1. Regrouping can be scarry and we don’t like having to back track.  While this may be necessary it can feel like a failure.  Going back to go forward.   
  1. When we figured out we have to take a GIANT LEAP to get to our destination, it can be paralyzing.  Can we do this?  Is it worth the risk?  Can we trust ourselves?  There is no safety net.  
  1. And sometimes we have to do it all over again.   

A friend of mine watched a squirrel do the impossible.  Scampering up a metal drainpipe to reach a roof.  Trying unsuccessfully to navigate the path to descend, the squirrel pondered the situation.  Backing up, running and taking a GIANT leap, flying through the air and landing on a nearby roof.  Think we can’t learn from squirrels. 

In summary, here are my lessons I have learned: 

  1.  Nothing is impossible.   
  1. Fear can paralyze you if you let it.   
  1. Keep your eyes on the destination. 
  1. You may have to go back before going forward.     
  1. Sometimes you have to take a giant leap to get to where you need to go.    

Can you do it?   

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