From the window, I watched a squirrel leave tracks in the falling snow. She came out of the woods, darted though the yard, climbed over the retaining wall, hopped across the driveway, shimmied up and down a tree trunk, skated across the frozen bird bath, and danced in circles in the snow. Finally, she stopped frolicking to eat a nut from her hidden cache at the base of a tree.
I was reminded of The Family Circus comic strip following the tracks of Billy, a curious little boy full of imagination and adventure. What was meant to be a quick trip to borrow sugar from the next door neighbor turned into a trek through backyards, alleys, up trees, over fences, and stops to examine a bug, pick a flower, and skip a stone before returning home with the cup of sugar.
The squirrel’s energetic footprints in the snow got me searching for other tracks. I saw those of birds and deer, foxes and raccoons, pets and people. All of them headed somewhere to do something with their day.
Imagine if our footprints were always so easily visible. Do they lead to places we are happy and proud to go? Are they filled with spirit and enthusiasm? Do they stop and smell the roses along the way?
In his last published book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss cheered, “Today is your day! You’re off to great places. You’re off and away. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose!”
The book encourages big, mountain-moving dreams, but I think Dr. Seuss would agree that while we keep an eye on our destination, we should remember the joy is in the journey.
My hard-working, easy-going husband often quotes Ferris Bueller from his favorite movie, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”
Watch the sun rise on the commute to work. Stroll through the produce aisle and appreciate an artichoke. Make a baby laugh. Inhale the aroma of soup simmering on the stove. Oh, we have places to go, but while we’re making tracks, let’s not forget to dance in the snow.