It’s 5:18 a.m., long before I need to be awake. The squirrels are active again, as they often are at this time of day. I’m not talking about critters in my attic or outside my window. No. These little guys are all in my head, busily reminding me of everything I “should” have done yesterday and everything I “need” to do today; of bills due, taxes, past and present relationships, unresolved arguments. There is no end to their “memoranda.” The squirrels leap and cavort with boundless energy, gleefully digging and exposing one nut after another.
I remove blankets; I add blankets, adjust pillows. I turn to lay on my side. Now the other side. I try to slow my breathing, relax my muscles, ease my mind.
The back pages of Roget’s A to Z Thesaurus contain word lists, one of which is “Names for Groups of Animals.” A congress of baboons. A knot of eels. A business of ferrets. A conspiracy of ravens. A cornucopia of slugs. Really – these are all genuine terms. I know this, because at about 6:10 a.m. I looked them up. Alas, there is no word listed for squirrels.
I send out a silent prayer to whomever or whatever might be listening: “Please relieve me of this obsessive thinking. Please heal me from flying squirrel thoughts.”
As I am writing this, the squirrels are curling up in their nests, drifting off into peaceful sleep. Just in time for me to get up and get ready for work.
I have to wonder if the squirrels ever have obsessive thoughts of their own … and if it’s human beings that are chattering away in their heads.