This morning I opened my inbox, and a post from “A Winsome Journey” was there to greet me. Maybe you know Jess? Like myself, she’s an animal lover, and not just your run-of-the-mill animal lover; I’m talking llamas, chickens, goats, lambs — you name it, she probably owns one. It’s a regular barnyard fiesta o’er yonder. Jess is very generous with her photos, capturing heart-melting shots and humorous expressions stamped across her furry family’s faces. This morning, however, the post was solely dedicated to her sweet dogs, Seamus, Finnegan, and Lexi. Go on over and have a read. It’s short and sure to brighten your day.
So there I was reading her post, all misty-eyed, when I realized my own sweet furry baby, light of my life, sparkle in my eye, was sleeping not more than a couple feet from me, all coiled up like a teeny-tiny snail. And there was this instant rush to my heart; you know, like when you enter a drug-store and that overhead fan blasts you in the face with warm air — like that, but in a good way.
I must admit that, in the midst of my health issues, my mood has been greatly affected. Bella, while not mistreated, hasn’t been given a whole lot of attention lately. After a night of restless sleep or zero sleep, constant worrying, and an overall general frazzled, discombobulated being, the last thing I wanted to do each morning when I released her from the bathroom where she sleeps, was to stop and pet her, hold her, or snuggle her and tell her how precious she was to me. No, I wanted coffee. (And maybe someone willing to drop a boulder on my head and see if that put me to sleep.) My mind, a melted D battery, was convinced that spending any amount of time with Bella took effort, was work; and in my state of degeneration, I did not have the energy for work.
. . . . .
Other than God, my husband, and my writing, my pup is likely one of the greatest sources of joy in my life; and somehow loving her had been reduced to “work.” I had forgotten how just looking over to find her blinking affectionately at me, sleeping atop a pillow, or there resting beneath the comforter — a recumbent, shapeless lump — relaxes me; that scooping her up and tucking her silky acorn head beneath my chin, stroking her downy white chest, how that calms me; how when she raises her head and looks up at me, subverting all her instincts by offering only the tiniest of licks when she is entirely capable of drowning me in saliva, I am brought joy. Real joy, the simplest of all pleasures, the only cure I know of remedying nearly every single ailment, both emotional and physical.
Not on purpose, but I had elevated worry and stress over joy. And then, once the stress had abated some, it was now time to shift things into high-gear and make-up for all that time lost while being sick and incapacitated. There were e-mails to get to, clothes to be washed, pants to be mended, groceries to be bought, and writing? What’s that? Hm, I think it goes something like sitting at the computer for consecutive hours and putting thoughts down on paper. It’d been so long, though, I couldn’t be sure. So, now in overdrive, I allowed the time-theif to convince me I had not a second to spare for joy.
I believed him, too.
It’s a natural reaction, we all do it, but a serious prioritizing was — is — in order. Whatever may be going on in the day-to-day humdrum, struggle, or chaos, nothing is so grave or imperative that I cannot take a moment to love and appreciate the Good in my life. Nothing may get done — scratch that. Nothing I consider productive or advantageous might get done, but I will have made room for love. And love, my friends, is what sustains me. And you.
So, I’m wondering if I am the only one? Busy, depressed, distracted, overwhelmed, dissatisfied? I bet you if you look to your left or your right, or maybe pick up the phone and make a call, you might find the cure. If you’re doing fine in that department, wonderful. Emotions are like seasons; they arrive to deliver pleasant tidings or wreak havoc, but they never remain for very long. If you’re enjoying the former, enjoy it. If not, if you feel at all wearied, heavy around the shoulders and neck, tight and prickly behind the eyes for no reason or possibly every reason, then I invite you to do as I did.
Hoping you are filled with Light and Joy this day,
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28