Saturday, October 20, 2012

About Squirrels and Napping

I walk on a bright, crackling Fall afternoon with two of my little dogs because the sun is so alive its rays virtually bounce off the vivid leaves of sugar maples, linden and box elder trees. Even the Oaks, so often dressed in drab taupes and greys this time of year, are decked in crimson and gold for this year-end party. The purple and white asters, too, are dancing with life as though summer were just beginning to make its appearance. This is a visual score that gifts my eyes with a most melodic symphony. Playing right along are the bumblebees, with their yellow and black shrugs, and the squirrels whose tails flick frantically as they gather and bury while Nature inMichigan still permits such activiy.

It won't be long now before Nature takes its well-deserved nap. It knows far better than most of us that all work and no rest is bad for the spirit, not to mention the body.

My own tendencies are to let this time of year weigh too heavily on me. I don't like winter. I don't like the restrictions it puts on my walks and bike rides. But, as I age, I have come to appreciate the luxury of rest. Nights of uninterrupted rest are hard to come by. I think part of my problem is that, in looking ahead to Winter --the season of white death and silence--I get impatient. Spring, the time of joyous rebirth, is way too far away to offer me any comfort.

When my daughters were young, bedtime always presented a series of challenges. None of them ever wanted to end the day. It was as if morning was so far away it could never be counted on arriving at all. To ask them to put a book down or a game away of to turn off the television was a request cloaked in meanness. Like many mothers I would bargain to bring the night on more gently with a bedtime story.
Many aspects of life can be improved with just a little rest. Relationships, careers, mealtime to name a few. Even exercise is more effective, I've heard, if we let our muscles rest between vigorous workouts.

So, instead of looking into the future and becoming depressed because it is too far off, I need to remind myself to enjoy the present for the good things it offers. I need to be more like a squirrel. Pack up some nourishment to carry my soul through the dark months...I have shelves loaded with good stuff I've yet to read; and, when Spring does finally arrive, know that enjoying it will be that much more refreshing and wonderful.

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