Oh, my, aren’t we busy little bees, or busy as beavers, as they say. Here the metaphor is squirrels also skittering, busy little creatures working away through the summer to make certain that they survive the winter (could winter be death? old age?).
The seed is a scripture. But squirrels can’t read and they don’t really worship seeds; they just eat them. So we know that these aren’t squirrels. The seeds though will save the squirrels, give them life in the middle of all of the death of winter. The seeds are that object that saves us when we are in the middle of tough times, or our winter, and there are many (just as we will come to know many winters).
Sometimes, a prisoner will read a bible and a passage will speak to him. It will say something relevant to his life. “Someone somewhere understands me,” he will say, “or understood me.” And there will be this small spark in the darkness. There is something more than this, something more to the life I have lived. A spark can make a fire just as a seed can make a tree and both can blossom up and bring something new and big and meaningful into the life of that person. The fire will take out the impediment in the life and the tree will bring fruit into it. (One hand destroys and the other builds.)
But for now, there is a scrounging in the snow, just quietly going about our business to try to make ends meet. Just trying to make it through the winter that we have fallen into. We don’t know if the seeds will grow. We, like the squirrels, persist. And hope. But we do know that seasons change – “theology something like the flourish of their tails” – something that is inevitable. This too shall pass.
Maine Vastly Covered With Much Snow
By John Tagliabue
are as busy as monks
looking for seeds; inside the seeds is a
nourishing themselves they trace their pre-history
is theology something like the flourish of their tails?
alert, aware of changing seasons,
aware of other blokes about
they persist in their
scrutiny of syllables.