With perfect aplomb

One winter morning from an upstairs window I watched with great fascination the journey of a squirrel. He left our bird feeder, scampered across the driveway, clambered up the rose trellis and, without a second's hesitation, leaped gracefully five feet or so to a fragile, unsubstantial-looking branch of a pine tree. From there it was only a quick hop to a sturdier limb. He scurried along, zigzagging his way to successively higher runways, oblivious to the snow layered on the top of each branch. Reaching the end of one bouncy springboard, he hurled himself headlong onto a thin branch of an elm and continued on his sprightly way until he reached his destination high in the big tree. The whole trip took perhaps thirty seconds, and at each juncture there was no indecision. Such a spirit of assurance and confidence, such freedom the little animal displayed!

"What made him so sure of himself?" I wondered. Why didn't he even once stop and ask, "Can I really jump that far?" Or, "I wonder if I look silly dashing around like this?" Or, "Maybe it would be better to wait until the snow melts before I try all these leaps." I had to conclude that he was just being squirrelish. He was doing what squirrels are fitted to do. He was perfectly equipped with feet that were made to hold on, with springy legs to propel him, a body light and buoyant, an excellent tail for balance. I wondered if the squirrel didn't teach a lesson on demonstrating our spiritual individuality in Christian Science.

November 9, 1981

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