It’s splooting season in the squirrel world, and it’s not just laziness, but nature’s way of cooling down since squirrels don’t sweat or pant. I found “my” backyard squirrel splooting on my concrete bird bath. Turns out that splaying on a cool surface acts as “heat dump” as the heat moves from the hotter surface, the squirrel, to the cooler surface, the concrete in the shade. Pretty cool science, and normal heat-wave behavior for us humans too, as we escape to the mountains, lakes, and pools, or just lie flat out in a heat coma for an afternoon nap.
We can learn so much from God’s creation and creatures, and splooting is such a great visual example for encouraging healthy rhythms in our spiritual practices.
SUMMER PRACTICE. Slow Down and Sploot
Try spreading out your arms, palms up, and look upward to the shade of the tree. Envision yourself as the squirrel, splooting on a branch in the heat of the day. See yourself taking in the coolness, the life of the tree. Is there something you need to let go of in a soul “heat dump?” Let this oneness with God in creation take root and branch out in your soul.
Have you ever stood in the presence of a tree and listened to the wind pass through its leaves? The roots and body stand defiant and unmoved. But listen. The branches stretch out their tongues and whisper…shhhhh.Cole Arthur Riley
Walk outdoors and take a closer look at a tree, noticing its roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. Reach out your hand to touch, or just sit and listen, using your senses to experience the stillness and whisper of the assurance of the Creator’s presence.
REFLECT. “Blessed is the person who sits silently, hearing and pondering God’s Word. They are transformed, living a mature and fruitful life, like a tree, nourished with living water. And even in a heat wave, one’s love for God, others, and themselves does not wither .” Adapted from Psalm 1
Slow down and receive the gift of the Goodness and Beauty of the Lord:
Psalm 85:11 (NIV) 12a (MSG)
Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Oh yes! God gives Goodness and Beauty!