In the past two weeks I’ve received a couple of email messages from a reader who is deeply concerned that this column tends to be full of foolishness and frivolity punctuated with rantings about my problems with squirrels. He can’t see any possible excuse for this.
I could answer ... um ... well you see, it’s a humour column ... but instead, I’ve decided to embrace the wisdom of this concern and tackle something serious. So, today we will discuss life, karma, reincarnation, the weather in Calgary and how, unfortunately, as with everything, it all comes back to squirrels.
It is a generally-held belief that human beings are the highest, wisest, most intelligent form of life. We think this in spite of men’s Speedos, strip malls, credit card debt and our continual willingness to date the wrong people if they have a really good cable TV package.
But sometimes being a human being is not all that great. For instance, we want things. Generally what we want is pretty reasonable: Parking downtown for less than $12 per minute; chocolate not to be fattening; or, for those living in Calgary, for it not to be –200 C and snowing in May. We want Coach to be voted off Survivor because the man is annoying beyond belief and it’s just time.
OK, maybe not all of us want that. But the fact is, often we don’t get what we want.
I think, in fact, that if you live life well as a human, there can be no greater reward than getting to come back as what is really the highest form of life; a squirrel. Specifically the black squirrel that reigns over my backyard.
As I sit inside working, the black squirrel is stretched out on the fence, warming his naked tummy in the afternoon sunshine. Later, I will rush about getting groceries and paying bills and the black squirrel will happily pilfer my flower bulbs, then spend the evening romping and frolicking in the treetops. I can’t recall the last time I romped or frolicked, let alone warmed my naked anything. I will however pay a large bill today to have said treetops trimmed.
So, being a squirrel. Good. Being human, not so good. Unless, of course, we accept that we simply don’t always get what we want. Which is what I hope for. Particularly for the reader who wanted me to be serious.