Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Things I'm learning from my Dog
I needed the ocean today - and the sun and the wind. I needed the solitude found on a pier that no one else inhabits. I needed the clarity that comes from listening to the waves gently lapping onto the shore. Today I need to see with different eyes, to feel with a different heart, to listen with different ears. It has been a time of worry, a time of fear believing that my dear dog may die. It has been a time of gratitude tempered with longing and unwillingness to let go. It has been difficult to witness myself get angry, seeing my Pebbles so tortured; angry at Spirit, at everyone, at me. If I could have I would have gathered her in my arms and spirited us away somewhere far...just to soak up her essence uninterrupted. Now that she is mending I allow myself to grieve, to reach the vulnerable places of loneliness and sorrow. If only I could be the woman Pebbles believes me to be...brave and solid, unwavering and committed. There is a wobble in my gait all too often and I cannot rest with it.
Loving them, these beautiful small beings that love us unconditionally, means eventually letting them go. It means opening our hearts to their loving cuddles and risking the pain that will envelope us when they no longer meet us at the door. It means letting them all the way in and returning this gift of connection so that they know there will always be a warm hand, a bowl-full of food and a chin rub when they need.
This dog softened my heart…she opened me to a way of being that meant changing my entire world. And I have been granted more time with her – we dodged this bullet and I am grateful. Yet I have glimpsed the places in me that are not willing to accept, to be grateful for what time I have had with this dear one. I know that I will hold on for as long as I can and then release a scream of rage from the depths of my belly when holding on is no longer possible. And the ocean makes all of this incongruence…okay. Like the strong and tumultuous current beneath the calm surface of the water, my emotions do not negate my beliefs; they make everything more real, more rich and life more interesting to dive into. I exhale as I come to realize that loving Pebbles as much as I do is why I am here – on this planet – to come to understand the imperfection that comes with perfect love.