Thursday, August 14, 2014
Raining, Rabbits, Dogs and Cows
It's something I often do when I'm in the car alone, especially after dark. Don't ask me why.
I think grief gets into the back seat when everyone else gets out. It hides in the floorboard like a carjacker, waiting for the perfect song on the radio, the random memory of another trip down roads I've traveled for so many years, and then it launches itself at me, grabbing me and shaking me and making me wish sometimes that I could go ahead and join my son on his journey beyond life instead of continuing to grapple with the pain of his death.
That depth of pain subsides quickly. There is too much to live for. Three little girls and right now too many dogs who need me. Life is good and I haven't done all I mean to do yet.
But I'm left with the tears.
Then I rounded a curve on my homeward journey and happy happened.
I wound up sitting in my unmoving car at 10:30 p.m. on a rain soaked night, laughing.
There was a little bunny in the DOT mowed grass at the side of the road enjoying a quiet evening snack and my SUV completely ruined his meal. He was like a Mexican jumping bean hopping wildly in every direction. He jumped two hops one way and froze, then jumped the other. I couldn't drive without risking that he'd choose to run under the car and I didn't really want to go on any way.
I sat and laughed at him until he disappeared into the taller grass, then thanked God for sending me a happy moment and finished my drive home, the tears banished for the rest of the night.
My happy this week has been in many ways much like that bunny, something that has appeared unexpectedly out of the dark and banished the blues for a period of time. Much of it has also involved animals, not a shock since my life is largely animals and little girls, but all the same....
NC Zoo. We were just there a few weeks ago and the two lions were the most visible they've ever been. The lioness, Mekita, was on her back in the sunshine, one leg kicking in some random dream. On July 30 she gave birth to four cubs. The birth announcement came a few days later and seeing the picture of mom and babies stretched in the straw made me smile.
3. Deer, slipping quietly across a dusky road before me. Because of my schedule and the heat, dog walking comes at the tail end of the day. One evening, just as we stopped to turn around, I watched a doe silhouetted against the sunset as she slipped across the road at the top of the hill beyond us. When we neared the house, more deer seemed to float across the road. Only Willie and I saw them, the bigger dogs oblivious until we were close enough to catch their scent, but they were long gone by then.
4. A frightened little dog coming around to trust. Last week I was tending my best friend's dogs as she was gone to the beach and she had just brought home a new one who, for some reason, was prone to barking and growling although not actually snapping. Even though she is a mini-dachshund, I didn't want to be bit and she did put on a really good show of ferocity each time I had to handle her the first two days. By the last two, she was greeting me with a wag of her tail and no more defensive posturing.
5. Salon pas. Seriously, my carpal tunnel has been killing me this summer and my good friend said she'd heard salon pas patches recommended for other sufferers. I stopped and bought a box of the house brand at Walgreens and after two days of grooming this weekend, found relief that ibuprofen had not delivered. Sunday night with one on my wrist at bedtime, I slept far longer than normal without waking early to that arm on fire sensation I've become accustomed to dealing with.
7. Rain. I'm tired of it already, but it is forcing me to dial back some of my expectations for myself and I think I need the break. Plus it sounds wonderful on the metal roof and I know that this area has been needing it. That it has brought cooler temperatures so that cropped sweat pants and long sleeves feel good, well, there's a certain bonus to that as well. I hated not doing the things I planned to do yesterday, but I loved snuggling in cool weather clothes and taking it easy on myself instead. The fact that the morning's downpour had ceased before little people arrived today, meaning we made our troops shuttling them indoors without anyone getting drenched, was a bonus.
Emotionally, I'm a little more stable after a few days of restful living thanks to the rain. I'm more prepared for the weekend and looking forward to a "Frozen" birthday party for E1.
What brought you joy last week? Can you remember? Make a mental note so that you can find a smile when you need it.