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 ?