Of Squirrels and Seedlings

On a recent sunny spring afternoon I went for a walk with a friend. The deep blue of the mountain sky was highlighting the fresh green of the new leaves. A warm day full of life, and fat squirrels. One of these in particular we encountered carrying a huge piece of bread almost as large as he was. Part of a hoagie roll perhaps? My first thought was, look at the abundance of that squirrel. The squirrel was alternately stopping to eat, and carrying his bread across the grass looking for a tree. But though the bread was light and not heavy to carry, it seemed to be too bulky to climb into the safety of one of the trees. Climbing with his prize was apparently too much of a good thing.

The next act involved a large crow sidling over towards the squirrel, attracted by the bread. The squirrel retreated around the base of a tree, not wanting to share, even though he has more than he really knows what to do with. All the while continuing to feed. I have to wonder how much of this he can eat anyway? After a bit of a dance the crow seems to loose interest and moves on.

Perhaps you have recently planted your garden? How many seeds did you use? Did you plant just a few and spread them out, or scatter the whole pack knowing that you’ll have to thin them later? If they are to become large and healthy plants they will need space to grow into, or be overwhelmed as they all start to grow at once.
How often to we start six projects and get lost in them as they grow, crowding each other out in the gardens of our lives.

How much or how many really serves us? When is it better take a piece and leave the rest; to have faith that the few seeds will grow into healthy plants; or to prune and thin and give some things away? We can follow the instincts of the squirrel and the programming of society, or we can feel into ourselves and find a different level of purpose that goes deeper than survival, that allows us to ask, what really serves? when is it enough? which plants do I keep in the garden and which do I move or give away?

In this modern world we are taught to always be busy, always productive. The mind becomes restless with open space or empty time. But it is only with these that the creations that serve us, or express our being, can grow and flourish, can be properly appreciated and enjoyed. Abundance that is so large we can’t carry it defeats the purpose. Abundance that is so many that none have space to flourish also defeats the purpose. Diving deep allow your heart to say enough, or to choose the few that can joyfully thrive and support you. Give your self time and space to focus, trust, and enjoy.

(© 5/2011)

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