»When I was offered the opportunity to take part in this project, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was rather disappointed (thank you Covid-19) to be unable to carry out my watch from the little shelter on the Gasteig and a little skeptical about peacefully contemplating the scene outside my bedroom window. Indeed, what could I see, discover anew and enjoy, that I havent’t already done (or could’ve done) during the 18 months I have now spent at my current residence? Now, granted, I am rarely awake and alert on Saturday mornings before 10 o’clock, so I gave the endeavour an honest shot.
Starting right on the dot at 8.03 on what was a semi-snowy Munich morning, I saw no less than 4 squirrels (most black, one a muted auburn red), run up and down the neighbourhood trees, and several birds half-hardheartedly dancing around or downright charging into these same squirrels. I was particularly amused by the rodent individual which perched perkily on a pole for a few minutes, undoubtedly pondering about the meaning of life or, failing that, hazelnuts and whatever else it is squirrels eat and do in their free time. Then, every now and then, it would proke its fluffy head into the adjoining bird feeder, undoubtedly hoping for a tasty treat which unfortunately for it never materialized.
Though I am rather fond of squirrels and enjoyed their little Saturday morning antics, the thing that struck me most, was that I had never really taken the time to sit down and observe them, or indeed, enjoy the other sweet and simple sights in my area over the last year. My past months, as was the case for many others, were spent fretting and scurrying around, almost like a squirrel myself.“
Though 2020 has been terribly stressful and had its fair share of ups and downs, it also brought many good things with it, and I was grateful to have this quiet hour to reflect on those and the luxury of doing nothing other than enjoying the serenity of my surroundings and having only my own thoughts to contend with.
That’s my little piece of wisdom for the next year: of course, by all means, scurry around and accomplish whatever needs to be done, but learn to slow down and enjoy the little moments, like my little squirrel philosophising on its pole did. And, while it is normal to worry and gnash your teeth against the challenges of life, never lose hope and persevere, and keep an open heart full of faith. Then, you might be rewarded with a nut.«