The respect for all life. I knew the country lane well. It took me up to farmland and the wild blackberries I picked each summer. This winter’s day I was using it for a post Christmas workout. The air was still and crisp yet heavy with the rain that had fallen just recently. I listened to the echo of my mud clogged boots rebound off the tarmac as I attempted to increase my pace and heart beat. I glanced up to my left, the trees, still bare of leaves gave me the opportunity to spot a grey squirrel sitting on a branch. I stopped, acknowledging its presence.
As I stood still an insistent monologue of noisy chirps vibrated through the air. What was wrong? I was obviously not getting it as the communication heightened. I tuned in and listened more deeply. I looked to the road, a little way up on my right. I saw a flattened squirrel, entrails exiting the mouth. I immediately recognised the desire to comfort and honour the loss of the partner. We conversed for a while. The squirrel began to quieten. I picked up the dead animal and lifted it up onto the bank. I stepped back and looked up, the branch now empty. The new space held such clarity and freshness. I marvelled at the cohesive freedom of this togetherness as it dissipated through the air.
Many everyday opportunities can become parcels of wonder if we but take the time to honour and listen. Invite these “teachings” from the centre of the universe today.