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Be Squirrely

squirrel on tree for squirrelly wisdom


Giant squirrels, giant lessons? Animal chaplain Sarah Bowen explores what squirrels can show us about mindfulness.

Shortly after 2020’s presidential election, I was struck by a squirrel image while scrolling through the hubbub of my social feed. It’s important to note that my feed is usually filled with members of the Rodentia order, so a squirrel itself was not surprising. What caught my eye was that this furball seemed striped in wide swaths of alternating red and blue. After watching endless hours of election graphics carving the United States up into categories of these two colors, I thought the resemblance was uncanny. I wanted to know more about this zany-looking critter. Malabar Giant Squirrels, also known as Indian Giant Squirrels, have a stunning multicolored body and can grow up to three feet in length. Their underbody and front legs are tan and their head brown or beige. Between their ears a white spot often appears, giving them the hint of a third eye. The color of the rest of their fur varies by subspecies. Admittedly, without Instagram filters the Malabar Giant Squirrel is more maroon-reddish and blackish than red and blue, but light sometimes seems to illuminate just what you need to see. In my …

About the Author

Sarah Bowen

Find spiritual practices in Sarah Bowen’s book Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective & Higher Purpose. Explore the intersection of animals and spirituality in her forthcoming Sacred Sendoffs: An Animal Chaplain’s Advice for Surviving Animal Loss, Making Life Meaningful, & Trying to Heal the Planet. And listen to her recent podcast with Rabbi Rami.

Bowen is a multifaith spiritual educator, animal chaplain, and award-winning author. As a member of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary’s faculty, Spiritual Directors International, and several recovery communities, Bowen seeks to help others connect with the higher power of their own understanding. She’s passionate about the study of the world’s great spiritual traditions; animal welfare; and travel to quirky, spiritually charged locations. When she grows up, Bowen hopes to be a Jedi. Connect at or follow her on Instagram @modernreverend.

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AnimalsAnimal WisdomMindfulness

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