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THE CRITIQUE CIRCLE

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4) You can build up credits to be used at another time by giving critiques to others.
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TITLE: Squirrel Wisdom
By Arlene Showalter
01/26/09
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Attitude!
Fall arrived two days ago in my part of the world. Although the trees have yet to change to autumn glory, we awaken each morning to a definite nip in the air.

Now, I don a jacket while drinking my morning coffee on my porch. I live at the end of a gravel lane. Directly across from our home is nice sized garden. I have enjoyed watching the elderly farmer plant his vegetables, lovingly tend them, and now—he harvests the fruit of his labors.

The man also owns several pecan trees, to the delight of neighborhood squirrels. Their home is a large tree on my side of the lane. For some time now, I have watched as they gather food for the winter ahead. And, believe it or not, I have learned a few things from my observations.

1. Squirrels have fun while they work.
2. Although gathering nuts is preparing for the future, they also enjoy the moment.
3. Squirrels work from dawn to dark, gathering their supply.
4. Work is a game with them. They run down and across the lane, seizing nuts and then scamper back to their home. They bounce about, flicking tails, chasing one another, and finally run to deposit the precious food in storage.
5. At times, the squirrels run up a telephone pole, dash across the wire and halfway down another pole before leaping into their tree home. They love to chase each other on the wire as they come and go.
6. Often they will run to the top of the pole to search for the whereabouts of the farmer’s cat.

Here is what I have learned from observing these furry, frolicsome critters:

1. Enjoy your work. It makes time pass more quickly.
2. Work hard to enjoy the return on your labor.
3. Learn to play. Chase your mate around the room. Joke with your friends. Life is hard enough. Put some levity into it.
4. Take a risk. The squirrels don’t have to run up the poles and across the wires to reach their home. They just do it because it is there. Let go, fly high. Do something others would consider foolish. Enjoy the heights.
5. Be on guard for anyone or anything that could steal your joy.
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