28 December 2008

Squirrel philosophy

I've begun wishing people a Happy New Year already, even with the turn of the calender still a few days away. This has never been my favorite holiday and, for the most part, that humbug attitude has been a well-kept secret. I love December, with all its well-lit glory and pageantry and I dread January because it ends the festive season and begins the long haul of another year, all over again.

Today someone returned my well-intentioned wishes with that very sentiment - as clear as if I'd spoken it myself. "I don't know how I feel about the new year, since it means so much time has already passed," she said, "but what is the alternative?"

True. And I confessed to her I was feeling the very same thing. Suddenly the prospect of a new year didn't seem even remotely happy. Then I came home to watch the squirrels frantically burying nuts on our property - and then digging them up and reburying them elsewhere - and I started to reconsider my position.

Squirrels don't know it is December. And they don't know January is coming. They only know they have today and, even during the course of this day, they plan for tomorrow. They bury nuts because of deep instinct that tells them to hope and to plan. Worry, fear and anxiety has no place on their agenda, it is counterproductive and, frankly, foreign to the squirrels' gameplan. And so December's nuts are the same as January's nuts and the burying goes forward with each waking hour, and it goes forward with the same industrious ethic in the morning as it does at dusk.

And so this is how squirrels make for their own happy new year without even knowing that this is what they are in fact doing. It is what all squirrels have been doing since the beginning of time, since new years first came into being (and perhaps since before we humans came on the scene).

I think I will bury my old bad attitude with the intention of NOT digging it up again in 2009, and concentrate instead on cacheing away the very best of attitude and hope that I can for the challenges in the year ahead.

Happy New Year, squirrels!


Henry the Dog said...

What a great post! Hope you had a lovely Christmas and best wishes for the New Year and your new attitude:)

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Happy New Year to you and the squirrels who hang around your house

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Like your positive attitude. Have a great 2009.