I rarely go into downtown Boston anymore because the noise and traffic can be a lot to handle, but it was a friend’s birthday and we had a reservation at a nice restaurant, so into the traffic we went. An hour and a half later (for a 30 mile drive) we finally arrived. I have to admit, my nervous system was feeling pretty fired up.
We were racing through Boston Common (a green area) to get to the restaurant on time, when a little squirrel caught my eye. Maybe I was desperate for something wild and of nature, but he seemed like the most beautiful thing in the world so I stopped to admire him. The tail was exquisite! His eyes! His posture! I loved it all and I told him so.
He was just sitting there looking me in the eye and listening. I told him all the ways he was beautiful. I crouched down to see him better. He started to slowly walk around me in a circle. When he got back to being in front of me, he started to chatter away to me, with his little hands clasped in front of him, almost like Namaste.
I had no idea what he was saying, of course, but I like to imagine he was appreciating me back. He was darling and I was enjoying our interaction even though there were lots of people streaming by us. When he was done, I thanked him and stood up to go, feeling so much better about life after experiencing his urban wildness. My stress had dissipated.
At this point, he leapt at me and wrapped all 4 limbs around my lower leg and just clung there. I could feel his little heart beating against my leg. What was happening? It felt like a hug, and didn’t feel threatening at all.
Although I generally trust my instincts, it didn’t take long for the primitive part of brain to kick in and start asking questions like: “Can squirrels carry rabies, what if he bites you?”
I let out a tiny shriek, breaking the magical spell and he scampered away.
My brain immediately tried to rationalize things. “He must have been after food you had on you.” No, I had no food. “You were threatening his nest or babies.” I couldn’t have been, I was on a main walking path through Boston with lots of other people. Plus, he had time to bite me if he wanted to. “You made the whole thing up or exaggerated.” Nope, my friend witnessed the whole thing.
Every thought and feeling we have impacts the whole and is felt by the sentient beings around us.
This little guy felt my love for him and he responded to it with an act of love and trust of his own.
Take great care with your attention, thoughts and feelings. Maybe try to send out a little extra love to all the sentient beings around you.
They will feel it. And it does matter.
Sending you some love right now,
photo credit to the fabulous Bon Miller.