John D. Rockefeller Sr., who loved poetry and had a passionate desire to see others succeed in life, once wrote a poem of five lines describing his life:
I was early taught to work as well as play
My life has been one long, happy holiday
Full of work, and full of play
I dropped the worry on the way
And God was good to me every day
In early spring, my husband and I placed a Kestrel box (with a small webcam inside) in our backyard with high hopes that we would be made privy to the nesting habits of one of our favorite little birds of prey. With great anticipation, we checked the webcam daily, but days, weeks, and months passed and, you guessed it….no bueno…no Kestrels.
Of course we accepted the outcome and declared to one another, “Better luck next year.” We went about our usual routine and pretty much forgot about the webcam….UNTIL…!
One morning, we went outside to have coffee on our patio and low and behold, there they were: three little squirrels hopping, skipping, and jumping in the tree that housed the Kestrel box! As we observed their ultra playful antics, suddenly one ran inside the box…(there is an entry hole on the front about 3″ in diameter)…then the second…then the third! My husband and I, in pure shock, just looked at each other…and then….you guessed it…we rushed the house and opened the webcam! What we saw inside was one of the most hysterically funny and most adorable things we had ever laid our eyes on. These three squirrels could have been part of Wrestle Mania! A flip here, a flop there, a tiny tug here, a little nibble there! We couldn’t stop laughing! This was the epitome of entertainment; but, they weren’t able to maintain that level of energy for long. Suddenly, they stopped, dropped, and rolled (onto each other!) Almost like what we’ve all identified in our youth as a “dog pile”…only this was a squirrel pile. Within moments they were out like lights–all three of them. They snuggled in such a loving and sweet way–legs, paws and tails intertwined like a 5 year-old girl’s braided hair. My heart just melted. I was astounded at the polar opposite behavior of these little critters from one moment to the next.
During the past few days (and hopefully more to come) we have had the honor of observing these little squirrels, lovingly (and appropriately named) Hop, Skip and Jump work, play, and sleep…all in perfect BALANCE!
Their routine (so far) consists of early to rise (around 5:30-6:00am when the sun begins to show itself), off to work (foraging for food), a little mid-morning play, an early afternoon siesta, a late afternoon play session, and finally, bedtime before the sun sets.
During the afternoon siesta, one may initiate the nap first and the other two follow; sometimes two nap together and the third shows up much later (only to disrupt the others who are fast asleep) But it’s all good. Hop, Skip and Jump really adore one another. It’s palpable.
Squirrel medicine teaches us the art of balance; balancing work and play–siestas and socializing. We get caught up in the pursuit of material possessions, that great job, and the like. Squirrel pursues its material possessions as well (think storing nuts, seeds, etc.) But squirrel never loses its love for play and rest, and most importantly, its connection and bond with other squirrels that enrich their lives.
The photo below is one webcam capture of Hop and Jump (yes, I am just guessing for the fun of it) during yesterday’s afternoon siesta. Skip arrived a bit later…and then there were three. I couldn’t help but use Hop and Jump’s sleeping position to illustrate the symbolism of squirrel and how we can learn the art of BALANCE (Yin Yang) from these wonderful little creatures.
Thank you, Hop, Skip, and Jump…
(Visit my Facebook Community Page to see more photos of our squirrel friends!)