I love you, old pal. Thirteen years of loyal protection. You were the smartest, handsomest dog I’ve ever lived with. I hope Sage met you with a ball and that you are running free now on legs that can hold you.
It was perfect that you got to leave with your head in my lap. I will always remember us and our bond.
It happened for the second time: I missed a day writing a poem a day. I woke up on my couch, a cat on one side, a dog on the other. Went to bed. So two today.
What to write? The Global Audio Satsang for Baba’s Birthday yesterday? How nine of us celebrated with glorious chanting? How I experienced a great meditation? What does a great meditation consist of anyway? For me, the voices are quieted at least for a little time. I relax and float into Oneness. After all, I was internally chanting OM, the primordial sound. And what a great amrit afterward! I had worked up a hunger and it was satisfied so delightfully.
Later I mowed. Back yard, the partially wild preserve — I used the push mower. Now when I say push mower, I don’t mean gasoline I mean just manually push. Evidently the blades need sharpened. Still the yard is starting to look as if there’s a plan. I have the stone circle, the bench, the little vegetable garden, the compost bin, the wood pile. I have a winding path carved from dog routes and reinforced with mulch. Now I have some low lying grass instead of high growing weeds. My plan is to have more wildflowers by next spring. The backyard is really my place of refuge.
I also mowed some front and side yard. This is with the John Deere riding mower. The third summer and I am still stymied by this piece of machinery. It took several tries to start it (and it’s automatic!). Finally I thought, OK, when I turn the key I’ll wait five seconds like the manual says. Success! What took me so long? For an automatic, it’s more complicated than you might think. But if I start my car without anguish, surely by the end of this summer the mower and I will come to peace. Once I’m in the rhythm of it, I love seeing the instant feedback of mowed rows and the smell of grass. Yes, I even feel powerful riding that horsepower.
Sitting on the deck. Birds are happy. My dogs and cats are, too. I drink homemade lemonade and lazily watch the world.
homemade lemonade & a beautiful day
is this really all I need
to find contentment?
Posted in 108 poems, chanting, meditation, nature, spring
Tagged Baba, cats, chanting, dogs, Global Audio Satsang, John Deere, meditation, Muktananda, riding mower
I had finished putting the compost bin together. Overheard cursing by the Canadian goose who has adopted the creek, I had completed the task and was shamelessly relaxing on my deck. Suddenly the dogs got excited by an event in the side yard. It could have been anything really. I went to look and saw Jasmine, one of my cats, with something 6-8″ long struggling in her mouth.
A baby bunny! No, I cried and ran out the front door and grabbed the cat, pulling. She let go and the bunny fell, still alive. I locked Jazz in the bathroom to reflect on her evil deed. Got the dogs and other cat in the house, then looked over the fence at the bunny situation.
It was very cute. Panting, probably in shock. I thought I saw a little blood on its neck but didn’t want to examine closer. What could I do? Buy a baby bottle and nurse it back to health? Some more compassionate souls might have done so but I didn’t want to take it on. Besides, I’d seen the mother rabbit run across the street when I first noticed the struggle. I was hoping — so close to Mother’s Day indeed — that she would come back and check on her little one.
I did some things around the house and purposely didn’t look for a bit. Finally, my curiosity compelled me to check. The baby was gone. I was so happy it seemed to have turned out okay. I know the saying ‘survival of the fittest’ but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
excitement in the animal kingdom:
one goose, my dogs and cats, two bunnies;
the lone human ponders existence
This evening I finally mowed the far reaches of my side yard. Although I would love to let it grow wild and be a nature preserve, I’m sure the township would not approve. My back yard, however, is a different story.
My dogs trample enough grass down in the back that I mow only a small part, mostly near the gate. They have made a natural trail which I enhanced by putting down premium black mulch. That path leads from my deck to the space in my yard that has become a garden. Tonight I planted some lettuce and radishes next to the carrots that were already there. I had forgotten how much work it was! I was adding 72 tiny plants in those little pellets. It’s a good thing I didn’t remember there were that many pellets when I began putting them in the ground or I might have stopped. I watered them and hoped they would grow to be part of future salads.
Two corners of the yard have been turned over to the wild — wildflowers that is. Of course, dandelions are the most predominant right now, those puff balls proudly surviving frost and torrential rain. I planted some purple phlox by the circle of stones. Carnations, coneflowers, and some others I can’t remember are in the ground now. There’s a stump of the tree that almost fell on my house last fall. There’s a Japanese lantern and a Buddhist bodhisattva with a teaching mudra. And there’s the weathered bench where I often sit and chant my mantra.
So before I started mowing the western side yard, I walked it and tossed branches out of the way and picked up water bottles and a plastic bag filled with grocery store ads. As I was heading back to my garage, I noticed a hole in the ground. It was sort of a sideways hole and there was dirt in front of it, like a little front yard before all the overgrown grass surrounding it. I wondered whose home it was. I’d seen a rabbit lately in that field but this hole seemed too small for her. The grass was really high since my riding mower had to be taken to the John Deere Hospital to find out why it wouldn’t start. It was gone five days then it rained about that many. My real fear was that I’d run over some baby bunnies. That was the main reason I was walking the field before mowing.
So I took those water bottles thrown out someone’s car window and that plastic bag filled with store ads and I carefully placed them in a circle surrounding the mystery hole. These random items would mark the spot. When I was on the mower they would warn me to steer clear to save whatever critter called it home.
what is the cost of saving something wild?
only a little extra time,
a deep breath, a sweet heart.
Posted in 108 poems, chanting, dogs, gardening, nature, spring
Tagged dogs, gardening, mowing, nature, rabbit, wildflowers
So it’s May 1st and definitely springtime.
The signs are there: people mowing their lawns, filling the garden stores, planting and mulching. It rains in the morning, the sun comes out for a few hours, then it rains once more. There are signs of green everywhere. And the irises are up. But there is one other sign. Bodhi is humping Medusa.
Hmmm. Sounds interesting. Mythological beings? In this case, Bodhi is a 60 pound shepherd-elkhound mix and Medusa (‘dusa for short) is the Queen Cat around the house. She doesn’t seem to mind. This happens every year for a little while then it dies down. What I don’t understand is why Bodhi doesn’t take to Mia, the three year old dog. I mean, she’s the same species! Maybe Bodhi perceives that as too incestuous; my take is that Mia is his little niece. After all, I do sometimes refer to Bodhi as ‘Uncle Bo.’
So it got me thinking, this inter-species attraction. Thus, the context for Poem #30:
dog humping cat
would the offspring be
cog or dat?
It was somewhere near the end of today’s session when I realized I’d never mentioned Betsy Lippitt, my therapist, in this blog. Now I don’t know about the ethics of client – therapist blogging tales but, since I told her I’d make sure to include her and I’m ok with it, here goes . . .
I had caught her up on the past three weeks (we’re in the phasing out phase). There’s probably a term for when the client suddenly blurts out a juicy topic or theme just before the session is officially over. That’s what happened today. I had originally gone to Betsy when my mother died and the girlfriend left the next month. It was a bit too much loss for me to deal with at the same time. And, every now and then, I get a little worried about being a lesbian getting older by the minute and living — and dying — alone.
I told Betsy I had three people listed under Emergency Contacts on my cell phone. Well, they give you that much room so why not be careful? Janice sometimes doesn’t answer her phone and my sister Linda almost always get interrupted by incoming beeps. So I added Eileen because she is home and might be responsible about answering if she got — the call. So I was in this space when I went into a ‘story’ — Betsy pointed this out; smart alec that she is, she had just heard Byron Katie’s talk on Friday night and was showing off — about What If.
The What If story goes like this: what if I suddenly toppled over of a heart attack or went unconscious for some ungodly reason? There I am, living on this rural road with a cow and a horse living less than a mile away. The fear that I unearthed is that I would, well, die — either suddenly or after lying there awhile, unable to crawl on my stomach to my cell phone which wouldn’t be far away but still inaccessible. I’d be lying there for a couple of days. So here’s the kicker: what would my dogs do? Actually, I’m more worried about Bodhi because Mia would take her cue from him. Bodhi is close to his wild canine roots and this German Shepherd – Norwegian Elkhound mix is a ravenous eater. Here’s what I’m worrying about: after a few days, he would be very hungry. Now, he knows where the dog biscuits are. If he got desperate enough, Bodhi would certainly have no compunction about jumping up to the counter and trying to open the upper cabinet door, knocking down the huge bag of biscuits. They would, of course, sprawl all over the kitchen floor and he and Mia would gorge on them.
So that might keep them at bay for a day. But then what? Here’s my real fear: at some point, Bodhi would toss loyalty aside and take a bite — in other words, he might eat me. Mia, looking up so to Mr. Bo, would follow and there you have it. A Woody Allen neurotic story if I ever heard one. Fortunately, my therapist heard a shorter version of this or I would have had to pay extra!
Are you happy, Betsy? You were mentioned in my blog.
fears can be easily explained / they are
not what you think they are / they
bubble up unexpectedly when you’re running out of time
Posted in 108 poems, aging, death, dogs
Tagged Betsy Lippitt, Bodhi, Byron Katie, death, dogs, Mia, neurotic, therapy, Woody Allen
Mia is the only dog I ever got as a puppy, young and directly from the litter. She is not who I would have picked had I gone to a shelter looking. I prefer big dogs and thought she’d turn out more like her Akita-shepherd dad than her beagle-spaniel mom. This little forty pounder is white with a few traces of brown — on her ears, back, and eyelashes of all places. Obviously, I adore her and I named her Mia.
Earlier today we were sitting on the sofa and had one of those bonding moments. Not sure where it came from but I said (yes, out loud to the dog), “You’ve gotta live forever little dog!”
you’re the one, my sweetheart, my confidante
you’re easy to love, your devotion is obvious
I am guru only to you