Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Art of Losing

The little dog, Dawson, mentioned in the previous post, was found dead today in our pond on the farm.  We think he died on May 27th, the day that Eric took me to the airport.  He returned home thinking that Dawson would come to the house as always, but he never showed up and Eric found him a few days later.

I started to feel attached to the little guy and it was apparent that he felt the same about me.  He followed me everywhere...maybe because I gave him treats and occasionally got down on the floor to play.  I was the main person who kept his food and water bowls full and let him outside to potty.

Life consists of losses, big and small.  A dog annoys you, then you begin to actually care about the dog, adjusting to living together in the same house and BAM!, you lose the dog due to an unfortunate accident.

We lose husbands, fathers, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Some people lose mind and heart cannot even go there.
These losses are the saddest, hardest, the most significant.  But other things we lose can rock our world in a different way.

Sometimes we lose a friendship, an opportunity, a job, a favorite book or someone's trust.  Other things we might lose: our resolve, our personal identity, our much-needed space or our reputation.

I've lost many insignificant things...umbrellas, keys, appointment cards, coupons, books, a shoe, jewelry, money, etc.  Most of these losses are easier to accept, although inconvenient and irritating.

Things that I sometimes fear I'm losing are my mind, my respect for certain people, my patience, my ability to show mercy, especially with the ridiculous, my free spirit, my desire to take risks, my voice and my childlike heart.

The aforementioned list may be the result of losing some of the "real" stuff of life, rendering me cynical, skeptical, angry, aloof, anxious, less vulnerable and more fearful.

The thing is...losing the significant and insignificant can make us softer, more resilient, aware, compassionate, forgiving, but only if we surrender to it.  If we just leave our hands open instead of clenching our fists trying to hold on to things, we might learn to accept loss, even lean into it.

This is what I've learned....losing conditions you, trains and prepares you to handle other losses because that is the reality of this earthly life.  But, there's another life, our real life for eternity, where we'll never have to lose another thing it person or pet or prized possession.

So...let your heart be calm and your trust be in the One who suffered the greatest loss. Ever.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's A Dog's Life much as I love being married to Eric, I am still adjusting to farm life and all that encompasses.  So, here's what stands out in my mind as most memorable so far.

One morning before work, I was informed by Eric's mom (she was staying with us for awhile) that Lucy, our huge outside dog, had left Eric a little surprise.  I inquired about it and she told me that the dog had found an intact, dead, frozen deer and had graciously laid it in front of my car door.  I turned on my heel and headed straight to the bedroom where I preceded to request a removal of this item (by Eric) so far away as not to see any evidence of said deer.  My sweet husband granted my request and off to work I went.

Seven hours later, I pulled up to the farmhouse, looked to the left as I was opening my car door and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the big head and neck of said frozen, dead deer.

I walked inside, choosing the highroad, and went about the rest of my day.  The next morning, as I sat down in my car to leave for school, I looked to the left and in place of the deer head and neck was a thigh and leg.  What could I do?  I needed to be on time and I was not about to move that disgusting thing myself.  So...out of sight, out of mind!

In the days ahead, I would find a bone here, a bone know, body parts, some of which I will not mention.  Much to my chagrin, I realized that Lucy was indeed feasting on the deer and getting fat with each bite.  I swore I would never touch that dog again and she and I would go our separate ways.

However, after a week or so had gone by, I walked into my bedroom after school and low and behold,  a deer hoof was right smack dab in the middle of my carpeted floor.  Black, sharp, disgusting...pretty as you please. Thank you, Dawson!! (our inside dog) Again, I turned on my heel and stayed in the other rooms the rest of the day.  When Eric came home, I asked him to remove that last evidence of carnage, but alas, it wasn't there.  I got busy with dinner, lesson plans, etc. and forgot about it.

That night, as I was calmly and quietly reading in bed (my nightly ritual), I hear Dawson gnawing on something.  (Yes, he sleeps under our bed.)  It suddenly occurred to me that he was going to town on that deer hoof.  But, weariness took over, off went the light and I settled in for a good night's sleep.

Somewhere around 5 a.m., I made my early morning trip to the water closet.  The path is a straight shot from my side of the bed and as I took my first few steps, my right foot landed on something hard.  In my groggy state, I wasn't able to process what had happened until I started back to bed.  To my dismay, I realized that I had stepped on the hoof.

Enough said...