My favorite walking route along the bay is currently choked with Covid-runners who are missing their treadmill at the gym. I secretly hope they’ll eventually return to their gym, but for their sake, I hope they’ve discovered the beauty they’ve been missing. For now, I’m walking down new streets throughout my neighborhood, uncovering hidden treasures I’ve never before seen. Historic homes, alleyways, and a community garden complete with a hammock for weary walkers who need a sit-down.
The other day after a brief nap in the hammock, I walked yet another new street that was quiet except for the sound of stifled laughter from one porch. As I approached, I saw a middle-aged couple and an older gentleman gazing off their front stoop, thoroughly captivated by something. As I stopped, they pointed to a single squirrel balanced on its’ haunches in the middle of their yard. The squirrel was kind of alternating between shaking its’ tail and waving its’ front paws, which they deemed to be some kind of dance it was performing solely for their entertainment. They told me they’d been enjoying the show for over 30 minutes. Their tiny artiste had left once but had just returned for his encore which had triggered their recent round of laughter.
And that was that. I discovered squirrel dancing – an entirely new way to relax!
To think that I’ve spent years trying to slow down enough to meditate deeply. I’ve sought out inspiring and soothing thoughts, quotes, psalms and words to comfort my heart and soothe my soul. I’ve pined over the perfect fabric to control night sweats. Designed cozy jammies and slippers to help you and I both feel relaxed before we Faceplant each night. And all I was missing was Squirrel Dancing! The simple and complete joy it brought to them, and in turn to me, to watch him shake his little tail was oddly life-changing. It gave me a hope that there is so much magic to discover in our Covid-induced slower pace of life. One that I hope we will hold on to in so many ways. One where we all can find joy and new ways to relax right in our own front yards.
So, this week, as some of our communities begin to re-awaken and venture out, please be respectful and safe. And please remember to enjoy the squirrel dancing in your own front yard.