Thursday, March 15, 2012

Squirrels, squirrels, squirrels

Squirrelly Kid

Tarry a moment to watch the chaos of a playground, crayola-colored shirts of running children, all trying out their wings. ~Dr. SunWolf

It's that time of year again.  Snow has melted, things are starting to green up, and the children have turned into squirrels.  Maybe not all of them, but some of our young patrons have been doing some pretty good imitations.  My children have turned into squirrels.  It's excess energy.  They're bouncing off the walls, talking in louder voices; and in the case of my children, cart-wheeling across the living room. 

In the past week there has been a lot of squirrel activity at my bird feeder.  It must be time for them to come out of hibernation.  It's time for the kids to come out of hibernation as well.  Up and down the tree those squirrels run, up and down the walls the kids climb.  I suppose that's why I spent so much time playing in the puddles as a kid.  I'm sure my siblings and I also acted like squirrels until my mother told us to "Go outside!"  I think she was smarter than that though, I don't remember her saying that in the spring.  She probably got us to find the delight in spring long before the squirrel problem started.

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend

Back when I was a kid, we didn't have much to lure us to stay indoors.  Computers weren't what they are now.  There was no online gaming for us.  We only got about four TV channels on a good day, and those channels didn't play shows marketed specifically to kids.  Skip an episode of Hogan's Heros to go play outside, not a big deal.  We'd probably get the chance to see the same episode again at a later time.  We were country kids.  Our friends lived down the county road and once we were old enough, we could bike and meet up with each other.  We burned off some excess energy on the ride.  Did we have more recess time than kids do now?  I don't know for sure, but it certainly sounds like it.  Spending time outside in the spring makes for good sleeping at night.  And less rammy behavior indoors.

Scaredy Squirrel at Night

Apparently I need to send my kids outside more.  The kids who come into the library on these brilliantly beautiful days to do some online gaming need to take a break every half hour and run around outside.  In the words of Benjamin Franklin--

Energy and persistence alter all things.  

In my words--

These kids are driving me bananas with their excessive exuberance.


As long as the sun is shining, go outside.  When the rain starts falling they can grab their umbrellas, raincoats, and mud boots and head outside.  After they get soaked, they can come back inside.  Still squirrelly?  Of course they are.  But, it's toned down a little.  This spring-time frenzy is not a bad thing.  It's fun.  It's noisy, it's energetic, it's humorous.  It's letting loose of those constraints that winter seems to envelop us with.  It's happiness in its truest form.  Squirrel form.

Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. ~~Iris Murdoch  

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