Two weeks ago something happened that is gradually changing my life. More accurately, I am noticing ways in which I have structured my days, especially during these challenging times, and I'm making subtle changes.
Zara, a nine-year old rescue cat, with her calico coat feeling like silk, was delivered to us in a pet carrier on November 25th. In a series of happenings, remarkable and auspicious, caring and persistent, she found her way into our home and into our hearts.
When I sit down, Zara often leaps onto my lap. I am learning to allow myself to sit quietly, stroking her face and neck. My rushing to do something or other, disappears. Well, not completely, but the urgency does.
The laundry can rest in the washing machine for 1/2 hour before I transfer it to the dryer.
(It's sitting there now!)
Sitting by the door leading to the basement, Zara waits patiently for Brian to open the door so she can explore a cluttered and varied world. After 10 or 15 minutes she is ready to come upstairs and find a place to rest. Maybe have a mouthful of food first.
It makes me smile, as gramps used to take our grandkids downstairs to make things and, this year, to play a rowdy game of conkers. In this game from Brian's youth, each person has a horse chestnut attached to a string and, simply put, the gamers try in turn to destroy their opponents' chestnuts.
After coming upstairs this morning, Zara headed to a warming patch of sunlight streaming through the window onto Brian's bed. As the light shifts it is likely she will shift as well.
Another learning for me. Twofold really. To look at the urgency I assign to non-urgent matters. The" I must do this today" refrain. Do I really? I've got to make my bed first thing in the morning! Do I really have to?
Instead, I may sit by the fire for a while. Or, sit quietly and meditatively create dry needle-felted rocks and bowls.
Animals spend their time "being", not looking ahead.
Zara doesn't worry about how she appears to others. Yesterday she leapt onto my friend's lap, never assuming that she wouldn't be welcomed.
Am I that confident of acceptance?
I'm learning to have around me people whom I trust and care about and to keep the negative chatter in the very deep background. And sometimes I forget.
And, Zara is here to remind me.
And as her student, I'm reclaiming the joy of self-nourishment. And, when I forget, watching this beautiful calico, reminds me.