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The squirrel, the hawk, and the chalk art

Flying high
Flying high
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

This afternoon at Eisenhower Park here on Long Island, I was treated to a special view of a beautiful hawk rising up from a field nearby, and into the safety of a tall tree. He was majestic, he was gorgeous, and he was...missing all too soon, invisible beneath the leaves of the tree. I searched for him all over, and thought I'd finally found him when a strange noise began emanating from the tree beside it.

Had my eyes deceived me? Had the hawk flown there instead of here? I realized I really didn't know for sure which tree the hawk went into, so now my best bet was the next tree over, where this noise was coming from.

But then I saw him. No, not the hawk. A squirrel...making some crazy noise I'd never heard a squirrel make before, as he poked his head out from inside the tree. My best bet was he saw the hawk and went into hiding, and maybe he was warning others nearby too. But your guess is as good as mine.

I kept looking all over for the beautiful hawk until I finally resigned my senses to just appreciate the little squirrel instead. We spoke for a while, him and me, as the moments passed by. He spoke in that mysterious squirrel chant of his, and I spoke telepathically, urging him to tell me where the hawk was. In the end, of course, we may as well have both been speaking Russian, as neither of us succeeded in communicating much to the other.

After a while, I walked on, and hoped some other creature of the park might reveal itself to me in some fun way.

More squirrels and lots of birds went this way and that, but none crossing my path or heightening my senses the way the hawk and the one squirrel had. I walked on in the contemplative mindset I like to be in, meditating and thinking about whatever came to mind, and then, quite by surprise, a new message revealed itself to me. It wasn't a metaphor or animal; it was actual words written in chalk on the pavement of my path:

"You deserve to be happier than you already are."

Isn't that a great line? I may have heard it before, but it's no less meaningful and wonderful, especially because it was written in a child's handwriting on the paved pathway at the park. Think about how awesome a statement this is, though. You, the person reading this...you DESERVE to be happier than you already are!

You deserve it!

Whichever child wrote this, even if due to the encouragement from an adult, decided that we as walkers in the park needed to hear it. We needed to be reminded that we are all due our joy, and we are all due even more joy than we think we deserve. We deserve to see majestic hawks flying overhead. We deserve to speak with squirrels telepathically. We deserve the beauty of the park and all the contemplative peace a walk through the park brings us. We deserve to be happy.

No, not just happy. VERY happy! You deserve to be happier than you already are!

Anyway, someone thought I'd like that reminder, and they were right. And I in turn thought you might like it too. I hope you did. And I hope you're happier for it!

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