Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Secrets of Joy

 Meet Pancho.  He's a little thin and a lot scared, but he's starting to relax a little bit. Welcome to the  "let's dump our unwanted pets out in the country"  season.  Sigh... He's a beautiful boy, very sweet and affectionate when he's not jumping or running off at every little noise or quick movement. His markings are gorgeous, aren't they ? And his eyes are a beautiful green. And yes, I'm feeding him, and yes it looks like he has found a home, if he sticks around. We will have to have him vetted if we can catch him and get him into a cat carrier. He's not neutered. Whether he has shots or not is, of course, unknown.  He has some scars on his head that aren't real noticeable unless you get really close and he bends his neck a certain way.  Otherwise, he seems pretty healthy. 


  This is how it always goes. I cannot throw away an animal, turn away a stray (note house full of them) or stand to see an animal not be loved. It is my curse.

  I love my animals. They love me. I find a lot of joy in the relationships I have with them.  They teach me about small blessings and loyalty and simple joy. Watch a dog roll on her back in freshly cut grass with a look of total ecstasy on her face. See a chicken scratch for bugs in the new straw you've put down in the coop.  Watch a cockatiel bathe in a dish of water you put in the cage...lolling about, dipping, splashing...total joy.  See a cat stretching out in a patch of sunlight on the office floor, savoring every second of the warmth, the stretch, the sleep. 

  When I am at odds with the world, or sad enough to cry, I will always find at least one dog and cat coming to sit with me. To lean their heads against me and comfort me with kisses and soothing sounds.  When I'm happy, they're happy.  They share my life, my world, my heart.  The very first pet I had was a big old yellow tomcat named Butters.  He was their baby when I was born, and we had that cat until I was about 9 years old. He never begrudged me taking his place in the family, I don't think. My mom used to tell me that he would sit vigil at the foot of my crib every night, protecting me in the dark. He was a huge cat, probably weighed in at 22 pounds in his old age. lol  Ran dogs out of the yard. We had more dogs than cats later, as I grew up.  Mostly German Shepherds and Labs, big outside dogs. At about 12, I had a parakeet and a rabbit.  As I got older and had my own places to live, I had an assortment of pets...fish, hamsters, birds, dogs, cats, sugar gliders.  Always, ALWAYS with the animals.  Today I have fish, birds, cats , dogs, and chickens. It's a good life.

  Sometimes, when I get caught in that cycle of looking at what other people have (nice houses, big bank accounts, good jobs) I forget that I have my own secret joy. When I start comparing myself to others, it never ends well. lol  But when, as Lao Tzu said, I can  .."Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.  When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."...then I can find the joy in the small simple things that make up my life.  Then I can be content that things are perfect just the way they are, that my life is perfect just the way it is.  And peace prevails. In my heart, in my mind and in my world. At this stage of life, I think that might be the most important thing.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*

  It has been a good and busy week.  I got to visit a 2 week old baby and hold him and ooh and ahh over him.  I got to work in my garden. I got to travel to Southern Illinois and be the speaker at a picnic.  I had physical therapy twice, I had a massage yesterday and I am going to volunteer at the office today and then go to a meeting and hear a friend share his experience, strength and hope before coming back home. In the meantime, I need to figure out some kind of crockpot supper to get going and leave for the Irishman. Or maybe just cook him a couple of hamburgers, since it is going to be almost 90 degrees today.

  It's really beautiful out there this morning. I think I will head out back and clean the chicken coop, sit outside for a while with my toes in the grass and maybe come in and vacuum the house if there is time. If there is not, I'll just save it for tomorrow. I have nothing on my calendar for Wednesday or Thursday.  I could do some serious damage to the dirt in this house with 2 full days of nothing else to do.  lol

The wrist is better, slowly but surely. I'm getting more mobility in it, but it still is weak and I guess it will be for a while. The range of motion is not great, but it's better than it was. I'll take it. There is great joy in being pain free and capable again.

 I found some sandals at the Walgreens that my friend said she bought and they are the most comfortable things ever !!  Yesterday i found a second pair in my size, hot pink (yikes!!) but I bought them anyway, because the black pair I got first I am wearing almost every day, they are so comfortable. I have a bone spur that is growing into my Achilles tendon on my right foot and my left knee is so bad I have had to wear good tie up sturdy shoes or I could barely walk. I am wearing these sandals (I thought I would never be able to wear sandals again!!) every day and  it feels great. So I said if I could find another pair I was going to pick them up, and I did.  Maybe I will even get a pedicure now !!  Another--the JOY of pretty painted toes !


 Alright. Enough sitting in here at the computer on such a glorious day. The big question will be, to turn on the AC or not.  90 degrees didn't used to be so hot, did it ? Right now it's so perfect out there, but I suspect that at about 3 PM it's will be smothering.  Such high class problems I have today. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the chimes are gently filling my world with a beautiful music.  The county mowing team just went down the road and the smell of cut grass is exhilarating. My irises are starting to flower, there's at least 2 of them completely open out there that I can see from my office window. Beautiful shades of lavender and butter yellow, lining the rock wall. The blackberries are flowering, the fruit trees have tiny fruits on them. The honeysuckle is turning green and growing with a vengeance. Even the wisteria that I recently butchered is sprouting leaves and vines. 

 Spring has come to Honeysuckle Hill and has maybe never been so welcome, after the hard winter we had.  I'm going to find the joy in every single minute of it. 


  I guess the secrets of joy aren't really such a secret, are they ?




Namaste.



15 comments:

Celia said...

Than you for the reminder how good things really are. Hugs!

Beth said...

A wonderful post Annie!! Bless you!

The Peeper said...

Yes, indeed. Thank-you.

Susan said...

There is nothing so wonderful as putting your bare toes in the grass! I love to watch my dogs, upside down on the grass, legs pumping bicycle-style. Pure joy. Your post just brightened up my whole day. Pancho is beautiful, BTW...

Mariodacatsmom said...

Annie you are a girl after my own heart when it comes to your love of animals. They are such a joy. I hate it when people dump their animals out in the country or turn them loose in the city. That is such a handsome boy - how could anyone not love him. You are a wonderful person Annie, but then I knew that before I knew you loved your animals.

Akannie said...

Celia~~ we all need reminding sometimes, don't we ? So much joy in the small details...

Akannie said...

Thank you, Bethie...and bless you too !!!

Akannie said...

Mz Peeper...welcome to Honeysuckle Hill. I hope you'll come 'round again...I'd like to get to know you !

Akannie said...

Susan~~ I agree ! I try to make sure I have some "grounding" time every couple of days. I just sit and look out over the pond and put my feet squarely on the ground...it refreshes and recharges my batteries !

He is gorgeous, isn't he ? He actually let me hold him for a little bit tonight...

Akannie said...

Mary--Kindred spirits we are !!!! He is a beautiful boy and appears to be very even tempered too. I am blessed to be able to live here and do this every now and then. They do more for me than I could ever dream of doing for them...

Rubye Jack said...

I love your new cat! It used to be, when I was a kid, that we were always taking in strays and never worried about shots and things. And the cats and dogs never, hardly ever, got sick and if they did they just were put to sleep. I think perhaps it should still be that way rather than spending thousands on keeping pets alive when it is their time and the same with people, rather than spending millions on our care when we're ready to die we need to learn it is okay to die. Just me.

Akannie said...

RJ--I kinda feel the same, but now we have animal control officers and if you get caught with not getting shots, you get fined. They get rabies and distemper and they go to the vet if there is a problem. I would never take extraordinary measures to keep an animal alive--and I hope the same is done for me. I'm getting pretty good at doing lots of things that people go to vets for these days...lol

Heartinhand said...

Labs are outside dogs?!
Lol don't tell my Molly! Although she loves the outside.
I just finished listening to the cat meow for an hour, get let in, get lifted to his food so he would stop meowing, then barf all over the floor and meow all over the house to be let out. Lather rinse repeat. He drives me nuts.
The greatest things in life aren't things.

Akannie said...

HIH...lOL--sounds like my house alright. Grrrr...Let cats in, let cats out. Let dogs in, let dogs out. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum...

I wouldn't trade it for the world.

deergarden said...

What a beautiful attitude toward life you have...