Contemplating shade and tree rats

I sit on the estate, or maybe in it. It’s early, just after my morning meditation, the best time of day. I’m still calm and centered, not having given any thought to anything I have to do today.

I’ve finally gotten to the place where I can relax and think about whatever I want without guilt over not doing or thinking about what I think I ought to do or think about. Notice all the thinking. Without thinking I’m left with just relaxation, a pretty good deal.

I’ve put the table in the morning sweet spot, where I’ll be mostly shaded until about three thirty. Then I’ll shift a couple of yards south, which will do until the tree next door takes over, and we move into evening. I can’t sit nearly that long, though, so I’m up and about often. Next year I’m gonna make a standing table for the garden, and then I’ll be able to work outside longer.

For the time being I use my breaks from sitting to tend to the local flora, primarily watering things and being aware of signs of infestation or other unpleasantness. I now and then resist looking for trouble like that, since that’s likely to encourage it, and just try to be aware of conditions and appearances without actually looking for something awful. I don’t altogether understand, either. It’s a little like the relaxed attention of meditation.

A few years ago I thought I’d reached complete acceptance of the tree rats, and now it seems to have worn off. A walnut tree dominates our back yard and is a heck of a cafeteria, although not a smorgasbord since there are only walnuts. I know they’re just trying to make a living like you and me, and I don’t mind sharing with them, even that one up there.

So I accept the tree rats. I haven’t accepted the rain of gnawed bits of green walnuts within the drip line. The best shade is in the drip line, and, as much as I love the sun, when it’s a hundred degrees I want some shade. Shade with a drizzle of walnut bits isn’t nearly as good as shade without walnut bits. Barefoot walking is a lot more uncomfortable on jagged pieces of walnut shell than not on jagged pieces of walnut.

A couple of friends say I should get a slingshot. I bet that would discourage the squirrels, but I don’t want to kill any, although I’ve heard they’re tasty, so I spray them with water instead. With a sweeper nozzle I can nail any tree rat within twenty feet with no casualties. Got him.