When the sun comes out … so do people … thus was last Sunday!
After a winter’s nap (I’m not sure mine was long enough!), the sun burst through, the temps rose and people swelled. It’s been months since the “Parade” was vibrant; our affectionate term for the walking path across the street. The throngs were marching amongst themselves. Everyone in town had the same idea, flooding the pathway!
A lovely respite of a day, we sat outside with company most of the afternoon and evening! Mid-afternoon, we joined the throngs in a casual walk with our guests. As we crossed the street to the path, we literally had to wait to “pull into a lane”, like, when you drive a car and have to wait for an opening to pull out. The sidewalk was so busy, we had to wait for a gap for our party of six to have space to enter the traffic flow. New experience! It made my introverted-self chuckle.
I realized in this close-knit stroll, things were different.
I can characterize it with one word….
Have you seen the movie, UP?
In it the dog, Dug, is interrupted randomly and frequently by the sighting of a squirrel. His talking dog collar, which interprets his thoughts, yells “squirrel”, at every sighting: completely changing his attention and direction. It gives the viewer a hilarious visual of life getting interrupted by random thoughts and distractions. Instead of the proverbial “rabbit trail”, Dug’s life finds squirrels most diverting.
I found a lot of sensory input, in the shuffling mob. Way beyond normal for my tranquil river excursion. You could hear everyone talking; in front, behind, passing, and in the grass. I felt my brain shifting with every tidbit of info: weather, shoes, dog directives, bikers passing, joggers running, birds, clouds, “Did you know…”, “I can’t believe…”, blooms, water, etc.
“There’s an Osprey with a fish in its mouth,” pointing skyward. This one stopped us, and many people, in our tracks watching the bird fly away from the river only to return, perch on a pole, momentarily, fly off again with a visual fish in its talons. Before long, audible gasps rang out, when the prize fish dropped out of the birds grasp, falling into trees. Poor bird, his dinner gone without a tidbit enjoyed! I think everyone gasped?!? Maybe I was the only one who gasped; “squirrel” moment. It was loud out there; couldn’t hear myself think, so I’m not sure.
Then, we noticed, a purple flower … “squirrel”. They were everywhere, pretty. I don’t recall seeing them before. Kind of like a very mini African violet with furry leaves. They had no smell. Wildflowers or weeds? Goggle won out, “Big Squirrel”… this typically European herbaceous flowering plant (not a weed) has amazing qualities. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, allergy, astringent and diuretic properties. Hails from the mint family although not minty in taste: use it in salads, soups, blended in smoothies and made into tea!! WHAT? I was half-tempted to pick some and add it to dinner’s salad. Surely, my guests would marvel at my ingenuity and resourcefulness. Should we sell it? A gold mine? … I can follow some “squirrels”!!
“Squirrel”… someone who calls my husband’s name. (a frequent occurrence) I have no clue who they are or the people who he says they are related to. He proclaims himself as the unofficial “Mayor” of town. Chances are he’s married, buried, baptized or “helped” someone related to everyone in the surrounding three counties. No, really!
And thus it went, for an hour. One simple walk, so many “squirrels”.
Have you ever found yourself swept away into a scenario you thought
you could predict?
I mean, I’ve been on so many walks before.
But, when it’s over, it looked nothing like you envisioned?
Yeah, me too!
I can’t help thinking about the stroll Jesus took into Jerusalem during Passover week. Throngs of people gathered to celebrate Him as He entered the city. They threw coats and palm leaves before Him, indicating his royal status, as He rode down the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem proper. They thought they were witnessing one thing. Little did they realize, it would turn into another before the weekend ended.
Expectations do not always match outcomes.
“Squirrels”, Pharisees, Judges, Rulers, fear, pride, etc. can pop-up. Life is filled with the unexpected; sometimes with great delight, other times with sadness and sorrow.
I feel certain some of those throwing coats and palms for Jesus’ donkey to walk on, were just people taking a stroll or going about their business. Carried along by the throng, they became part of history without intention. Jesus was their “Squirrel”. “Hey, a King is coming…”, “Stay put…”, “I’ve heard…”, “It’s a beautiful day for a procession…”, “Don’t Miss It…”, “You won’t believe…”, “Do you know…”, etc.
And, the distraction, caused by Jesus,
became their life’s preoccupation; unplanned, unintended, unexpected.
The experience changed them, forever.
Others refused to entertain a “squirrel” and missed everything.
Who Knew? “Squirrels”!
Ya might want to pay a bit more attention to those pesky bushy-tailed rascals 😉
Have you experienced any “squirrels” lately?