Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Squirrel Mind

The mind is so powerful, amazing really. That old saying, that you can do anything you put your mind to, is absolutely correct. My problem with the cliché is that it sounds so easy. It's the "putting your mind to" part that's hard. The "doing anything" part is easy once the mind has been set to the task.

Yeah. The mind has a will of its own, almost, well ... seems that way sometimes, do you know what I'm talking about? Changing my mind, putting my mind to something, and especially opening my mind sometimes feels impossible, but it isn't impossible - far from it. Challenging? Yes. Impossible? Of course not.

I've been thinking about the power of the mind these last few weeks as I wander around Capitol Hill gazing in wonder at the squirrel nests, so beautifully constructed, so cozy and well situated at the cruxes of sturdy branches. It's hard to imagine that squirrels could focus long enough enough to build these gorgeous igloos of leaves, but they obviously can - and do. Their nests are exquisite works of rodent architecture, really they are. I figure, if squirrels can do it, so can I. In fact this year I surrendered to the holiday, put my mind to the task of celebrating Christmas. VOILA! I've had a fabulous Christmas.

It wasn't just the planned activities, getting together with old friends, gift giving and receiving, the cards. As if the world decided to shamanically align itself with my surrender, all day long yesterday delightful bits of fun and connection "accidentally" occurred. You can not plan for these moments, like yesterday afternooon when one of the owners of Schneider's (a wine shop) grabbed my elbow and steered me into the store. The staff was feasting and drinking, laughing, exchanging erudite wine jokes no one except other wine snobs could possibly understand. The owner happened to glance out the window at the very moment I walked past. Miraculously, he recognized me, and more miraculous still, he remembered a funny Christmas carol I wrote years ago for the store. The next thing I knew he was handing me a glass of champagne. It was an experience of spontaneous, unexpected Christmas generosity and good cheer, a lot of fun, and the champagne was delicious. Wow. What a Christmas.

Also lovely is the fact that light has literally returned to Washington DC in the form of crisp blue skies and plenty of light silvery gold sunshine. Jake and I have already had one walk today. Later I'll take the other dog in the house out, too, so I can soak in the light of the brand new solar year. I feel sparkly and cozy, like a Hallmark card. Awww! Isn't it sweet?


J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Wow, Reya! Love all of these pictures, but especially the one with the reflection of the houses in the birdbath! Well done!

Here's to feeling sparkly and cozy! Cheers!

kimy said...

sweet indeed! what a wonderful post so filled with magic and everyday miracles (a wine merchant pulling one into a shop and providing a glass of champagne would classify! not to mention a squirrel's nest).

speaking of squirrel's perhaps you've acquired another totem with your thoughts and reflections on sister squirrel. of course I'm quite partial to rodents!

your delightful post reminded me of the wonder of squirrel medicine: "Squirrels can teach us balance within the circle of gathering and giving out. If we are doing too much of one or the other, squirrel may appear to help us. Squirrels are the masters at preparing, but they also are reminders than in our quest for our goals, we should always make time to socialize and play. Work and play go hand-in-hand, or the work will create problems and become more difficult and less fruitful."

and again marvelous pictures - but of course!

by the way we shared a SUNNY and bright blue day here in normally grey cleveland! and this morning looks as if there's more of the same in store. oh joy!


Barbara said...

Congratulations for trading in "bah-humbug" for "sparkly and cozy." It's much nicer not to be swimming upstream against the current, yes?

Reya Mellicker said...

I am learning to go with the flow.