I recently had a chance to spend a few days at a cottage on a lake. It was very beautiful and peaceful. But my metaphorical mind keeps coming back to a chain of events that I inadvertently set into motion involving a chipmunk, a window, and finally… a toilet.
My husband and I were sleeping in a second floor loft. He was still asleep, but I got up and looked out the window to a lower roof where a little chipmunk was scurrying about in the sunshine, busily filling his pouches with seeds.
I cranked open the window to let some of the fresh air in, and to catch his attention, hoping for a moment of connection with this little bundle of energy.
He froze, looked up, and scooted straight down the bathroom vent stack on the roof.
Later, in the bathroom, I could hear scuffling behind the bathroom wall and jokingly told the chipmunk that he had better stay in there, because I would freak out if he came into the bathroom proper.
I went about preparing my tea and toast, and mostly forgot about the chipmunk until my husband, who had entered the bathroom moaned, “Oh no…” He found the chipmunk, drowned, floating in the toilet bowl.
And that little life, full of energetic purpose, was submerged and flushed out of existence. If only I had known the trajectory of events and might have avoided opening the window…
But such is the nature of existence. It sometimes feels like we are mere cogs in a great machinery serving an inscrutable purpose. This is, I believe, where shraddha – faith – comes in. Believing that everything somehow works together for the greater good. As Julian of Norwich said, All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.