After I locked up and got into my car, I looked back at the house. It seemed to be looking at me like a little kid - wide-eyed, excited, and a little nervous about it's new adventure. I paused. "Thank you, house, for your loving years of service, for the great shape you're in, and let's intend that the new owners be loving, fun and good stewards." That felt better. I drove home, letting the work of the past days fall away, and proceeded to have a delightful, peaceful Thanksgiving.
The next day, Friday, the house went on the market. Early that morning, neighbor Brad called and asked, "What are the police and animal control doing at the house?" Huh?!
But when I arrived 40 minutes later, three groups of buyers and their realtors were touring the house. People kept coming and touring all day. To my knowledge, this was the first time we ever had a squirrel in this house. So here we were, a big trap in the middle of the empty kitchen floor, on our first day showing the house. While I explained to buyers what was going on, I noticed that people were casually closing doors and shutting closets. It was clear we weren't going to trap that squirrel until people were done coming through for the day. After dark, Rich and I reset the trap with better tasting food, and I went through the house opening doors and wishing the weather was warmer so I could just leave a window open.
This was the third day of the squirrel living inside the house. The neighbors and I were baffled. We were running out of ideas. On my drive home, I decided to ask if the squirrel was a messenger for us, or for me. I looked up what animal communicators thought it means if a squirrel comes into your life. There were several suggestions. The one that resonated with me was to lighten up and take things lightly. I realized that I'd had a sense all along that, no matter how the details played out, the sale of the house would be just fine in the end. But I wasn't trusting that. I was letting petty things bug me. OK, Squirrel. I got the message. I'll relax and take things lightly.
Then I saw the living room blinds moving wildly. Next I saw his tail, flicking back and forth. I watched the squirrel run along the window sill, jump down, run back to the other end of the window and jump back up by the blinds. Again and again. OK. He wants to leave through that window. (I'd tried to open that screen but no go. So I had resorted to the bathroom window.) I walked back up to the house, the squirrel watching me intently. He disappeared as I neared the door. I opened the front door and propped the screen door open with the only thing I could find in this very empty house - a leftover cup from yesterday's open house. I returned to my car and watched. 15 minutes later, the squirrel walked out.
The squirrel left the house as he found it, un-chewed. He also left as he had arrived, alive. And, after three days on the market, despite our slapstick comedy going on behind the scenes, we had plenty of offers to consider.
For me, the squirrel brought into clear focus what I was vaguely aware of feeling deep inside - that it's all going to end up just fine, no matter the little details. Once I really focused on that, the squirrel left. I think the squirrel was a messenger. Some might say he was an angel. Some might say he was just a squirrel. All of which could be accurate. My point in writing is this: if you're struggling with a situation, there's no harm in asking if there's a message in it for you. There well may be!
© Vicki Nelson, text and photos, Trusting Joy.com