6th September 2020

Many will have seen me sitting alone contemplative upon a park bench, perhaps enjoying a pipe or the cold tea I carry with me in a suspicious looking hip flask, attempting in my own very basic way to connect with the wonder and majesty of the universe and through that interface perhaps gain some realization of whatever monumental events caused it and us to be. Of course, I search in vain. No voice interrupts my train and enlightens me, no stranger sits beside me and with a heartfelt smile imparts the great wisdom we all seek. I like you am adrift in a sea of questions, awash with possibilities, drowning in incorrect solutions. Our mortality is our weakness, we are small creatures, with tiny lives, barely able to stretch our past, present and future to the time it takes a planet far in the outreaches of our own galaxy to pass once around its sun.

I search for meaning, for clarity, for truth, for perspective and yes, for a god, no matter mantra or relevance to my condition. My being shouts that immortal guidance must exist, that no other explanation suits that which I see, hear, smell and taste at every turn of my existence. Do not ask me to give shape to this illusionary figure, to shade inside an invisible outline, describe a feeling so vague as to be almost intangible, for in this one matter all my intellect, imagination, and vocabulary is wholly lacking.

Writing or more correctly tying on my electronic device takes a degree of concentration that overpowers all other instincts within my being. Imagine then my surprise when gazing up momentarily I become aware that my previously solitary bench had become the haven for another. Sitting munching on a small sprig of hips not six inches from my plaid covered thigh is an unconcerned squirrel. He returns my gaze steadily, his eyes filled with an acceptance of the moment I find difficult to emulate. My own pulse and heart rate leaps at the nature of the moment, but monsieur squirrel simply accepts without any noticeable reaction. Far from a fleeting instant the bonding continues for moments, stretches to seconds, eventually lasting many poignant minutes. Finally, after what I now wish might have been a lifetime my new acquaintance nibbles through his third hip and quickly deciding hunger is not yet abated rises on all fours and with a marvelously emotive bow speeds away in search of further repast. I am immediately filled with loss; the unintended meeting had fulfilled a need that of perhaps divine import.

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