Sometimes I think of the natural world–both flora and fauna, but mostly the fauna part of it–as a joyless place, a place of survival, red in tooth and claw and all that.  Joyless.  Survival.  It’s not a regular thought; it’s rare, actually, but sometimes it comes.  Death is real and ever-present, but so is life. Oh, so is life.

There are two squirrels in my back yard that are doing their best to help me focus on the life part of things.  Which is good, because that first paragraph got a lot darker than I intended.

Coffee, specifically morning coffee with my wife, is a highlight of my day.  I sometimes joke about the day going downhill starting around six o’clock when we get up from it–it’s just that good.  We sit, drink coffee, and talk almost every day.

Death – squirrels – coffee.  Are you following me here?  Good.  

Now, Lisa and I both have our chairs.  They’re not really “our” chairs, as in, “Tim’s chair,” or “Lisa’s chair,” but more often than not, they’re where we sit.  In our chairs…the ones that aren’t really ours.  (They’re clearly not, as my wife naps in mine on a regular basis when I’m not in it.)

Add chairs to the list, right after coffee.

So, it’s morning, the traditional time for morning coffee, and we’re in our chairs, settled into conversation.  The dawn is just breaking, the black becomes grey, and the view through the window just behind my wife’s shoulder is getting more and more interesting.  This happens on a regular basis, given our daily schedules and aforementioned love of coffee and conversation.

I have to say my wife also has a view out the window which happens to be over my shoulder, but I also have to say I don’t think it’s as interesting as mine.

My view has squirrels.

Squirrels that visit most days, probably because of the oak and pecan trees in our back yard.  With my peripheral vision I’m aware of them climbing around, traveling up and down the trunks, and moving horizontally from one tree to another.

I see them with my peripheral vision, because I’m actually looking at my wife, the person with whom I’m conversing.  With coffee.  That’s what we do.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone, though, with squirrels being squirrels and all, that the activity causes me to be a bit impolite on occasion.  There are days when they play in the trees, and I have to just excuse myself and baldly look out the window.  The pair is absolutely flying through the canopy, leaping impossible leaps, ascending and descending with incredible speed, looking like nothing more than two grey streaks.  On the best days, there will even be time for me to suggest that Lisa look.  On those days, she gets to smile at them too.  

There is life in the world beyond our walls, and it is wonderful.  

10 thoughts on “Squirrels”

  1. I love how your writing celebrates the beauty of the natural world. Squirrels can be so entertaining.
    I tutor a boy in his dining room that has a huge picture window overlooking the woods. The land goes sharply down behind his house so we are at eye level up in the trees. I have to really concentrate on my work some days (or more honestly, most days) because what I really want to do is just stare out the window to see the cardinals, blue jays, and in warmer months, yellow finches.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim, I want to be you and Lisa when Kyle and I grow up. We love coffee; we love conversation. I look forward to the days when life slows down, and we pay attention to detail.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Life is pretty good, Britt! There are times when I think about younger families and wish I could have been them in my own past. The world is a bigger place, now, and I love seeing how other people do life. From what I’ve seen, you and Kyle are doing it right!


  3. What a beautiful slice of life you’ve offered us here, Tim. I love the scene with the two of you perched on your chair, perhaps Lisa trying to engage you in conversation while your attention wanders outside (how could it not?).

    I find myself doing the same thing. Just last week (way back when, when we were still remote teaching) I was standing at the kitchen counter where I Zoom with my kids. I may or may not have interrupted my own teaching to remark upon the fat squirrel just outside my window…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lainie, I do my best, but squirrels are just too much fun to watch (hence the relatively current “squirrel!” interjection). It would be awesome if you had the ability to share the squirrel so everyone could enjoy it! Thanks for reading and for your comments {smile}.


    1. “O, to take what we love inside”

      What a fantastic line from a fantastic poem–thank you for bringing it to my attention! Small moments of joy: Yes, we need them, and we need to hold them. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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