Squirrels Storing up Angst for Winter

There is a lot to stress about, and should you begin to forget all our troubles, the news and your social media feed will swiftly remind you of all the many reasons to be upset.

This morning I am watching the first snowflakes fall while a backyard squirrel chews on a corn cob feeder we put out for him, and I take note that squirrel isn’t panicking or crying because winter is coming. He’s just living his life and enjoying his blessings preparing for the cold even as it covers his fuzzy tail in specks of white. He is attuned to what he needs to do and his provisions. He isn’t gazing up at the sky, shaking his tiny fist, and counting the unjust flakes as they fall around him seeking for someone or some god to blame. He toils onward.

We are not squirrels. I suppose our issues are more complex. We face painful losses in human life. We have all lost friends and family over the last year. As I’ve observed though, the biggest loss we accrued over the last few years is our trust and kinship in our fellow man, and perhaps even our trust in our maker. We have all been on the receiving end of both a literal virus and a hateful virus where we are attacked for beliefs we hold true or behaviors that others deem unacceptable. This makes me more sad than sending friends to heaven too soon quite frankly. One is physical and cannot be stopped, the other loss is optional and is a divorce of our choosing rather than understanding, forgiveness, or reconciliation.

I do know that when I feed it my fear it grows; just as when I feed my anger, it seeps out in all areas of my life. Hope and trust must also be fed and nurtured. Loyalty and love must be lived and practiced. Like the squirrel storing up for winter, love, hope, faith, loyalty must be our focus and sole agenda if we intend to move forward in healing and healthy ways.

If your news media makes you distrust your neighbor, turn it off. If your social media feed is full of hateful rhetoric, unfriend, unfollow or log off. Prepare your winter stores with what will sustain you and your neighbor: love, hope, faith, trust.