The Sounds of Fall
Devotional Memoir from a Wisconsin Black Squirrel
©By Susan Marlene Kinney
"The branch cannot bear fruit of itself."
Whoosh, the wind pushed mightily through the branches of the naked trees. I held onto the sturdy oak for dear life as my fur ruffled and parted in the power of such invisible strength. Another gust forced me to wink my eyes almost shut. I refused to shut them since a huge creature sat in a peculiar way at the base of my tree. There were various creatures of various sizes from this particular house . These giants wrapped themselves in diverse colors and shapes especially in winter. Were they not silly since I still recognized them. They were of course the bringers of my nuts and seeds. Every now and then, they would flash a bright light in my direction and I would see dots as I made my way back up the bark to the wavering branches. Basically they were harmless and useful for my store of winter foods. Today only one of the gigantic creatures sat in the stillness and shivered. What the wind didn’t caress off her cheeks, her shaky hand did. She spoke aloud, “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself.” Of course I thought to myself, I am the one that bears the fruit up the tree and to my hiding place. I am strong and flexible and no one doses it for me. You should see what I provided for myself, you should see my store of seeds.
The mightiest gust of wind stole my breath. When it eased, I breathed deeply the sweetest aroma, like fruit and nuts at the perfect ripeness. There was no rustle of leaves, like I hear in the summer. Instead, the echo of the loud silence stilled my movement for a moment. Something exciting engulfed the very air around us— me and my giant. I turned sharply to the left then the right and chirped and chirped and chirped again— a warning. No, not really a warning, this was the most exciting moment in my life and it was still invisible and intangible. What would my family safely tucked in the nest above me say if I tried to describe this? Again my human spoke, “Sorry Lord, I’m sorry for thinking that I didn’t need You. I have not honored you or given you credit.
Stirrings of wind whipped the branches around us. Then all the rowdiness of motion surrounding us stopped. This was a deeper silence and I felt the warmth of His presence. I knocked my head against the tree limb when I tried to bow my head in reverence. I’ve never felt this way before. All at once I realized that He was the provider of the nuts even if He did use the huge creature below to bring them to me. He was the provider of the strength I borrowed to climb the tree and He was the breath of life I borrowed to breathe. The human smiled toward the deep blue sky that held very few wispy white clouds and sang the most soothing melody. I chirped along with her and flicked my black tail in time with the dipping and lifting of her voice. This excitement far surpassed the excellent feeling I enjoyed while escaping the giant’s four-legged barker. I know it wasn’t that great a challenge to avoid since the beast couldn’t even climb a tree. Ok, so giants and black squirrels alike receive everything needed from His hand. Hum, I really see that now. I hope that He will provide my giant with the generosity to bring out the peanuts, and sunflower seeds. Those are my favorites. I paused in my pursuit of food and glanced around, even all creation praises His name. Chirp, chirp…..