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Samhain Blessing and the Squirrel

This week I found myself in a new role - one which I never planned for. I found myself in the role of a squirrel mom.

I have been a nanny taking care of infants, toddlers and kids for over 14 years now. The last few months I have been in-between full time families and I have been able to do occasional care for families I used to see everyday. On Tuesday, I took two kiddos I used to watch nearly everyday to school. I was so excited to see the kids and they were excited to see me and It was such a fun way to start the day with catching up on their lives, hearing all about new teachers and favorite things.

After I walked the kids at school I went back along the leaf littered side walks to my car and began to head home. I am driving and about five blocks later I see a squirrel in the middle of the road. It is not moving in the delightfully fueled and twitchy way squirrels move. It is hardly moving at all. I drive nearer to the spot and slow to a stop, fearing the worst, because from atop of a bed of leaves this little animal hardly registers my proximity. I parked the car and hopped out and try to shoo the squirrel out of the way. This furry fellows sweet black eyes are wide open but he seemed confused and sluggish, it does not budge but a scant few inches, still very much in the middle of the street. I crouch down for a few seconds then decide on my course of action. I retrieve a box out of my trunk, and using the leaves as a buffer gently put the squirrel in the box. I am soon heading home with a young squirrel as my passenger.

I spent the next 24 hours monitoring this little being on top of a heating pad and researching squirrel care. Luckily he has no visible injuries and as several hours pass he seem to gain first awareness of me. I made many calls and eventually I found Rocky Mountain Wild Heart, in Colorado Springs. These are some of the very few people around who are licensed to care for squirrels, and I felt I could trust them to care for the little soul who blessed my path. The next day we coordinated and I drove the little squirrel up to them.

Although I know I made a good decision to drive the squirrel to its new winter home, I spent a long hour driving back to Denver with an empty cage, feeling sad. Being a caregiver has been a huge theme of my adult life so far. Though I do not have my own children I have helped raise many children, and there can be such a mixed bag of feelings about advocating for others.

I felt myself questioning whether the squirrel was okay this morning. The only way I know to handle this kind of grief is to turn the questions inward. So I asked myself if there is a deeper lesson for me, then I asked myself if there was a version of me that needed someone to advocate for - like I advocated for the squirrel. I felt tears rise into my eyes and knew the answer was a resounding YES.

In the course of my work I have the opportunity to turn my own feelings of sadness into deep healing of my own inner child. It's something all people, especially parents and carers, have the opportunity to utilize. In times when I feel like I'm not sure if I have made the right decision, on behalf of someone else, I turn the questioning inward.

As we draw closer to winter, Samhain is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on those that have passed through our lives. As the leaves fall, I thank the trees for the shade they gave. As plants die back I feel a welling gratitude to the bounty that was in my garden. The little squirrel was just another life I was given the opportunity to help along the way.

So much of who I am now and how I serve others comes from my past experience. My desire to help others might be, in large part, the way I heal the child in me that needed help. Through these acts of service I heal. No matter If they are folks buying soap from me, if I am teaching someone little to tie their shoes, or if a little squirrel that has fallen from a tall tree lays in a pile of leaves in the middle of the street. I was given the opportunity to give that squirrel a safe warm place to rest and recover. I passed the opportunity on to him to be cared for with skilled hands who will free him after the winter cold has passed. I increased his chances of survival exponentially, and it was my honor to do so!

These happenings are all opportunities for me to serve. In this business I serve my customers because I spent so many years being uncomfortable in my own skin. I didn't know what I was putting on my body in the form of soap and lotions, that made me itch and be generally distracted from the moments in which I wanted to be present. It is my hope that I can bring truth and awareness to people who need and want it. When you buy my goods you help me fulfill my purpose, just like the little squirrel and for that I am thankful to you.

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