A Letter to James Squirrel Jones

James Squirrel Jones enjoying breakfast on a frosty morning.

Nature is filled with miracles and I’m proud to have one such miracle living right outside my front door. From your unlikely childhood–reared in my spare bedroom–you are finding your way into the life you were meant to live. One free of cages and doors, and eventually free of clumsy human moms who can’t even begin to play chase with you through the tree tops.

It is so hard to leave you outside as freezing temperatures set in. I could easily catch you again…bring you back to the warmth of our home…but there are no lessons in that. You were meant to survive and you’re proving your instincts are guiding your way.

For now, cute James, I will treasure our morning visits and you will treasure the nuts and fruits I provide. Then, when spring comes again, I suspect one day we won’t even say goodbye…you will just move on to the next chapter in your life.

It’s our own little story of nature and nurture. In the end, nature will prevail. Good boy, James.

Today is the Day.

Squirrely by pond

Squirrely surveying her new domain…and not yet realizing that the door to her cage is open.

“Today! Today is the day,” they both exclaim with excited glee.
“Today? Oh I don’t know,” I ponder. “It’s very windy.”
“It’s perfect,” they say, with no small amount of pleading in their bright little eyes. “Absolutely perfect.”
“But doesn’t it seem a little chilly?”
“Noooooo! We’re fine! Today is perfect,” they proclaim once again.

Perfect for whom? Well, truth be told, it would likely never be perfect for me. There would always be too much wind. Too much chill in the air. Not enough leaves providing shelter. Too many hawks sailing through our airspace. A chance of rain. Not enough hours of daylight left to allow me to watch over their first steps into this big world.

Feeding James

Tiny, sweet baby James Squirrel Jones.

No, there would never be a perfect day. Left up to my worrisome mind, there might always be something standing between these two little beings and their rightful place in nature. Wasn’t it only yesterday that they were no larger than my thumb and completely helpless?

But as I look at them with their alert faces, strong legs, fluffy tails, and sharply gripping paws that border on having the dexterity of hands, I see the truth.

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The door is open…Squirrely Temple and James Squirrel Jones are free to go…or stay. Free to stay around a bit too.

“Ok, you’re right,” I sigh.
Today is the day.
Today is your day.