to learn from a Texan and a blind squirrel

In one of the many immense California Oak trees surrounding our home there lives a blind squirrel.
Everyday I watch his repetitive scurrying.
He runs down from one of the huge arms,
seemingly flies to the fence,
runs down the fence to the ground, across stones to
our small turtle pond
which he scales his body down and
sips water for about a minute.
He then turns around and runs up the trunk
which is directly behind the pond.
{Why he doesn't just come down that same way,
right by the pond, I have no idea.  Possibly he
likes the adventure, the exercise, hmmmm...}
But it is always the same.
He is not like the other squirrels,
chasing the cats,
yelling at the chickens,
roaming everywhere.
He is blind and he returns to what he knows.
His life is repetitive,
and in that he survives,
finds comfort.

A lady walked up our driveway today, introduced herself and
told me she was from Texas, visiting here for a funeral and that
she had grown up in our house and just had to come by
while she was here.
It was pretty amazing.
I let her in and we walked through the rooms while she
sighed peacefully at the things that were the same and
told me all about those things that were different.
It was one of those days where I was unbelievably busy and
literally nothing had been done in that whole
cleaning department,
and you know,
it's those days when everything is trashed that
random strangers happen to stop by and
want to come inside.
I made the excuse that I have seven kids and
she laughed and said there were nine kids in
her family when she lived here.  And then she
went in the bedroom where my husband,
who threw out his back and was lying in bed,
was rather confused at the strange woman walking in.
And then she asked if she could take a look at him and
yes, this strange woman who grew up in our house,
popped and massaged his back {apparently she is a
physical therapist}.
It's all rather strange but it was also a beautiful thing.

After she left I watched the blind squirrel {we call him Ray}
make his daily trip to the pond and I was thinking
about his repetition,
his home,
our repetition,
our home.
This house was not always ours and
technically is not ours {we rent} but
we love it, 
we have had a baby born here, in the living room,
we have laughed, cried, loved,
we have {nearly} graduated our first young man from homeschool,
we have lived.
This is our home and it has seeped into us,
with all of it's creaks and leaks and scratches.
And our daily rhythm blossoms in this place.
I thought about how much I hate renting,
how our landlord could one day decide to move in here or
decide to sell and
this place,
our home,
would no longer be ours.
And blindly we would have to set out on
a new path, not knowing the destination but
knowing He did,
leaving {as our lovely strange visitor today did}
a piece of ourselves behind in these walls and
these shadowing Oak trees.

And as Ray the blind squirrel scampered
back up the tree,
I wondered what he would do if one day
someone cut his tree down.
If he drank from the turtle pond and turned around
to run home
and it was gone.
And he knew nowhere else.

This made me incredibly sad.
Because really,
poor Ray would be utterly lost.
I watched the other squirrels running around,
eventually joining Ray in his tree.
That's when I remembered to breathe.
Because it suddenly dawned on me that Ray
wasn't alone.
He may be blind and unable to find his own way,
but he is not alone.  If his tree were gone,
the other squirrels would help him.
And so it was okay.
And when we are blind and the future looms
ahead as the ocean, it's okay.
Because we are not alone and He knows
the destination and how to get there and
where our home or tree is.
So it's good.
All because of a stranger from Texas and
a blind squirrel named Ray.

Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it;
Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born, and then
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ‘em up t’ women good, an’ men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part
With anything they ever used—they’ve grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumbmarks on the door. 
Edgar Guest


  1. Oh, this is awesome! I mean really -- my eyes got all misty thinking about Ray without a tree and then my heart soared when you realized that he had help and friends just like we have help and friends and a God who loves us.

  2. Life is always funny, isn't it, especially how God puts us together with one another, and shows us one thing to help us learn about another? Thanks for blessing me today with your wonderfully encouraging post!

  3. hi, all your posts are very inspiring! every time i read one, it makes me appreciate life's little details, it makes me love my family, my husband, and my children a thousand times over. thank u so much. keep writing. keep inspiring us. God bless!