16 November 2009

The unseen

The squirrels are out there. Like their other compatriots in the wild community, they are born, they grow out of infancy and many die – perhaps instantly, or perhaps after a painful lingering – without humans ever taking note.

It is no doubt a reality that most wild creatures similarly cycle through their lives without any human to bear witness. The laws of nature that govern their precious, precarious time on earth, after all, require no human consent, nor do they even require human participation.

This is legislation immutable by any vote.

And what of situations outside the laws of nature? Hit by car. Mauled by cat. Trapped in chimney or attic. Unconscious after a plummet from a tree. Death as a result of an unrelentingly virulent pox.

Here, nature steps aside as humans transform the scene – either as cause of the distress, or as rescuer from its clutches. Suffering, no longer invisible, gains a face, possessing eyes that radiate with pain. And so rehabbers and vets do their best. So do well-meaning passers-by, who intervene at curbside with the shelter of a cardboard box, the comfort of an old T-shirt, the power of their compassion and prayers.

We cannot see them all. We cannot save them all. But for all of them, and especially for all of those we shall never know, we wish them mercy.


Cactus Jack Splash said...

Lovely post.

squirrelmama said...

Thank you CJ. I wrote it after having received a phone call today that came, sadly, too late for a squirrel that a coworker happened upon while jogging. Even the ones I don't see still have the power to break my heart.

kjboucher said...

Beautifully written, and it could apply to squirrel cousins as well. It is a heartbreaking reality.

squirrelmama said...

Thanks, Kathy. You and I both know we can't save them all but we always hold out the foolish hope we can. Even the ones we can't see and never will.

chet said...

Commented before, but I agree: beautifully written and could apply to squirrel cousins everywhere.


I've often wondered about the animals in the wild. Life is hard for everyone, not just us humans. And I've often been humbled by how the animals take life as it comes, good and bad, and never complain.

You don't see them trying to take their own lives or trying to be some other species. They don't have beauty contests or curse each other. Animals simply live and do what they were meant to do and seem perfectly content with that.

Thank you for the reflective post. :)

squirrelmama said...

You've said that so very perfectly. It's true. The animals accept the lot that fate has given them and they make the most of it, living with grace, grit and determination. We could learn so much from them.