Dear Garden,

Sometimes you see a baby squirrel.

The world is a scary place to be these days. The bad news is endless and our bodies and minds are struggling to keep up with the demands of daily life, which seem a lot more insurmountable than they did just a couple years ago. We are in a space where it can be very hard to get through the day. At least that’s how I feel most of the time.

The last few days of my life have been dominated by anxiety and fear and exhaustion. I start my days pretty slowly and without much enthusiasm, I have to admit. But today I went out in the garden and saw a red squirrel. And from underneath that squirrel emerged a tiny little baby squirrel (I found out after extensive squirrel research that they are called kittens!). The squirrels played around in the tree for a little bit, the kitten always close behind his mother. It was adorable. I might be overreacting, but that baby squirrel (kitten seems confusing just now) saved my day. Maybe it even saved my whole week. While I was watching it explore its home for the first time, feeling safe under its mother’s protection, I felt safe too. That little guy has no concept of what is going on outside our garden, probably not outside his nest in our tree. He was cute, innocent and perfect.

Someone once said something along the lines of “if you are looking for miracles just stop in nature.” Sometimes I’m too cynical to appreciate this because I think nature isn’t really miracles, it’s just biology. But sometimes you see a baby squirrel or a butterfly or a beautiful flower and then you think they were right. We humans can’t seem to get anything right. And somehow they get everything right. If you think of their place in our dark and violent world, they are actually miracles in their own right.

I’ve been stopping to look around a lot more as spring has come. Maybe it’s a little cheesy, I don’t know. Maybe cancer, covid and war has made me long for the miracles that nature can offer us. Just seeing that baby squirrel can make you think maybe there is a little bit of good still left. If I hadn’t gotten up today, I would have missed that. A baby squirrel probably won’t be able to save the world, but maybe they can save your day.

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