I’m going to step back from the Robin Artisson controversy and write about a less serious topic from everyday life, though one with spiritual/ethical implications.
Awhile back, I discovered a hole in a mesh window screen on the enclosed sun porch in one of the upstairs bedrooms. A squirrel had made a nest in between the two windows! Recently, I got a call from the next-door neighbor. She had seen a hole in the side of our house, on the porch. Now we already knew the wood there was going to need to be fixed, as there was some rot, and holes we think were caused by woodpeckers. (We did see one pecking away!) But this hole is quite big- large enough for a softball to go through. Later it turned out the problem was much worse than we thought. One day I was in the bedroom and heard some scurrying noises. I went over to the porch and found that the hole had gone all the way through the wall, and that the squirrels had made a nest of leaves & chewed up insulation (newspaper) in the corner! Apparently, the window squirrel liked our place so much, that he invited his friends over! Now Dan (my partner) throws rocks whenever he sees them, yelling “Get off my property!” He says it’s not to hit them but to show them they aren’t welcome. ( reminds me of a grumpy old man shooing kids off his lawn!) Not sure how much they actually *learn* from this, however.
So now, before we even can get the hole fixed we may need to hire an exterminator. If anyone knows of a more humane/eco-friendly way to get them out, please let me know. It’s going to be hard to repair that hole too, because on that side of the house it’s right next to an electrical wire. We’ll have to get the power company to turn it off temporarily. Now of course, I try to be as humane to animals as possible and avoid killing them, but they’ve invaded the house, so they have it coming. Nature is fine so long as it stays outside! Another anecdote about squirrels- after I told this story at work, one of my co-workers told me & some residents that she once hid some plastic Easter eggs with candy around the yard. After returning from church, her kids were going to hunt for the eggs, when they saw some rather colorful items up in the trees. The squirrels had stolen them!
So on a spiritual level I had some thoughts. I try adapting rituals to my locality, and by this point the squirrels have definitely demonstrated that they are outsider/trickster spirits for our household! Last summer (or longer ago) my mother & I found a concrete statue of a squirrel buried in the front yard. I set it up under the crab apple tree in the backyard, to be a shrine to the nature spirits, and left offerings from rituals there for critters and birds to eat. So I wonder if by doing that, I encouraged the squirrels’ presence and attracted them to the house. Maybe I’m reading too much into things.