I keep wondering where she is. I go to the window, more often during the morning hours when I most expect to see her, to look, over & over again. But now it is afternoon and I’ve just looked again: nothing. As the days added up to a week, and now longer, I feel a melding of worry, foreboding and resignation settle into my heart when I see she is not there. I know this seems a silly thing; perhaps more silly to some than others. But worry doesn’t differentiate between silly and serious; it feels the same. I find myself reasoning that possibly she’s come and gone in between my trips to the window, that I’ve merely just missed her. I tell myself, she’s okay. She’ll return in a day or two. Maybe she’s had her babies, although it seems too early for that, but it’s possible she’s tending to newborns and dares not come out to feed, dares not leave them alone even for a few minutes, vulnerable as they are all naked and tiny and blind and needy, in their underground nest somewhere deep beneath the dense escallonia that shelters many small animals, no doubt. Perhaps she stored away a good cache of sunflower seeds and the nuts that I always leave for her—only for her—although the blue jays help themselves, and of late, have had plenty to pilfer. I wish she would come, as she has all these years, at least five or six years, if indeed she is the very same one I’ve seen all this time, the same common grey squirrel who I’ve grown so fond of, which may sound silly, although it doesn’t feel that way.