Learning from William
Yesterday I was looking out from my office and I saw William. He was sitting quietly on the railing of the front porch. He had enjoyed sunflower seeds which he had retrieved in athletic ways from a feeder which I replenish as needed. He had figured out what the best place is to actually eat the seeds - a small stob in front of my window - and then decided to pause on the railing.
It took me some time to figure out why I was so deeply moved by the sight of this little representative of the animal kingdom, a red squirrel, sitting quietly on this high railing and overlooking the surrounding park and forrest. It was a teaching moment for me, out of the blue, a moment of something pure, holy, and spiritual conveyed in an unexpected way. From nature I learn so many lessons about love.
I think I know now why William's confidence and presence moved me to tears: I perceived contentedness, I perceived humility. No striving, no ambition, no pursuit. Just being a red squirrel in Maine. I noticed calm and dignity, as this little life manages to survive in a systematic and orderly way. I learned something about the Divine. And this is what I got:
There is a completeness and rightness in creation that is breathtakingly beautiful, graceful, and dignified. Like the world of numbers or tones creation is complete only as a whole, an infinite compound puzzle of infinite ideas. No element is expendable, every idea counts. You can't have the infinite amount of numbers without the numbers two or 23 or 568. Infinity is the signature of creation and it is seen and experienced in the detail as much as in the bigger picture. So every element of nature teaches us something - it is an idea. And to overlook it would be to disregard its source.
There is a humility in being what you are. In William's case an individual red squirrel going every day about his business - trying to feed the family, having a good rhythm in the day, staying away from streets and foxes, pausing for a moment at the right time. There are no politics, career goals or cultural opinions involved - just the pure being of what William is.
Of course, I don't know what William thinks. But I do know that Love loves everything from the tiniest mouse to the biggest star. My prayer is to love what Love loves with all my heart. Seeing William sitting so quietly on the railing, I was reminded of the wisdom that tells us to be content with what we have. Love speaks softly ever so kindly and encourages us to accept its gifts. For Love is not something we find: Love is something that finds us. Love is what we are. Occasionally it moves us to tears. Love teaches us to love what we have. And as they say: When you love what you have, you have everything you need.
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In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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