Friday, July 23, 2010

Being still

I have a hard time relaxing. As soon as i sit down, i see something that needs my attention. That is why I love the porch here at the beach condo.
It is empty save for chairs and a small table. The curtains obscure my view of the mess inside I will need to pack tonight for our return home. It is on the 5th floor and we overlook a lagoon. There is nothing to do out here but watch the squirrel on a branch I can almost touch as he gnaws on a pinecone, or look at the herons in the treetops or the alligators posing as carnivorous logs in the green water below. I discovered that out here I am practicing how to relax and find it scarily addictive.

The one thing I can't escape are my thoughts and they are forever typing a to-do list. It is so hard to live in the present for me.
But just as my mind starts to wander to all the burdens awaiting me, out here on the porch I hear loud crunching. I glance up. He is there again this morning like he has been for the past 5 mornings. A squirrel sits high in a tree but nearly the same level as me on my balcony in the sky. Five days ago, he had a full large pinecone in his paws. He began gnawing away and little pine nibs dropped to the ground. I watched fascinated. He ate it like an ear of corn.

The next day he was back, and the pine cone was a third empty. It seems unlikely it was the same cone or even the same squirrel, but he was on the same branch making the same unusually loud crunching noise in the still morning.

The third morning, there he was again, the pine cone half empty. I forgot all the books I have to order for our homeschool starting back in 2 weeks, and watched the squirrel. Yesterday the pine cone was two thirds empty and this morning, he is back shreddding away the last few
bits of tasty pine cone morsels. It almost makes me want to go try a pine cone. For a week, the squirrel has seemingly savored a pinecone each early morning perched on a branch high above the alligators. From his perch he can smell the ocean and the soft arms of the sleepy sun are not yet scalding as they drape gently across the pine bough.

Tomorrow we head home again and the squirrel will have finished the pine cone. If all goes as planned today, no one will leave with stitches, hospital bills, or permanent damage. In my mind, that is the perfect beach vacation. And I have had the rare privilege of sitting still and quiet long enough to see a squirrel eat a pine cone in a quiet lagoon.

Psalm 46:10
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

- Nothing is impossible with God

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