The squirrels are out today in furious force. They run in front of me, bound up the nearest tree, jump from branch to branch over my head barking their greeting, or perhaps their warning. The slightly cooler temperatures have tented the edges of the leaves yellow and the squirrels have begun their fall ritual. They are preparing, gathering, stowing away any precious nugget that may be of use in the future. They stop along my path only long enough to grab up their precious loot, store it in their cheeks and bound away again.
If all things can be revelatory of God’s presence and grace in the world, what message do these squirrels carry for us? What are we to learn from their persistent activity at this time of year? What are they speaking to us with their little barks and cheeks full of seeds? Perhaps their message is to “be prepared.” Perhaps it’s a message of never taking anything for granted. Perhaps they are telling us to open our eyes and see what’s right before us — not the computer or the TV — but the grace of God everywhere. And, when we do see this gift of grace – perhaps the squirrels are telling us – pick it up! Carry it with us. Hold onto it. Savor it’s goodness and store it away where we can find it again when our need is great … when perhaps our vision is not so clear. Perhaps the message from the activity of the squirrels is – don’t miss the beauty, the precious morsels of food that God reveals to us daily. They are graced moments. They can feed us now and if we store them away in our memory, they can nourish us again later, when perhaps we need the nourishment of special care and love. Take a message, or a warning, from the squirrels. Now is the time to prepare, gather and store away what may be useful later.