We’re not unlike a lot of Americans in that we’ve struggled financially this past year. But I’ve found that there are things that bring me joy instead of anxiety. When I’m not dealing with that reality, I am out on adventures with my best pal Zeke. He’s 4 legged, covered in thick black-reddish fur, and always at the ready to head out. Don’t know what I would do without him. We have the beach and the woods close by and we often take advantage of it.
We spent a lot of time in the woods this summer. In our small tourist town, the woods is the only place to escape an area that is swollen to capacity with humanity. So Zeke and I hiked up to our favorite stream, always finding ourselves completely alone. We waded carefully in the cool waters – looking for rocks. I have a new found love of rocks – especially agates. Zeke is excited simply being with me in the outdoors on a quiet sunny day, listening to the birds and other animals alerting each other to our presence.. He watches over me and makes sure I’m within his sight at all times. He has a game he loves to play. He’ll hide from me in the thick ferns and pop out when I call his name.
Walking in the stream is very grounding for me – or anyone for that matter. Maybe walking in freezing water isn’t your thing. But being in nature is a great way to center yourself and having someone to share it with – like Zeke – is even better. It’s a wonderful escape from paperwork and the problems of the planet.
We hiked in the woods all summer, sometimes bringing human friends along, but mostly just the two of us. The beauty and the peace I find behind my home makes me feel I am in another dimension. Timeless. Just my dog and me, playing in the water and discovering new things as we walk through the woods. I believe we all need a place that is timeless and away from all that “defines us”. Zeke has known since he was a puppy that I can understand his words and wishes, so spending time with him is not simply my dog and me on a hike. It’s also discussing the issues of our very different worlds. And Zeke always has something profound to say. He’s a wise old soul. But he keeps it simple and sometimes that’s exactly what I need.
We also spent a lot of mornings on the beach. I love agate hunting and was gifted some beauties by the sea this year. Zeke and I like to head out on a spring or summer morning at dawn. This way we are sure to have the beach to ourselves. In the winter, the tides are wild and will pull the sand back making large holes full of rocks in the middle of the beach. This is where we sometimes find our best treasures. Zeke’s gotten so used to me slowing our walk that sometimes he simply lies down in the sand and waits. If I take too long, he heads out alone. If he could, he’d wave me off with his paw in disgust – but I love hunting for rocks and shells and our home is filling with the things I have found on the beach.
I have found some special agates this year. I know there are people around here who are better than I at finding these treasures, but I’m grateful for the things I find. More timeless moments of joy. This is the beauty I found unexpectedly that was lying in the sand. I have a few fish bowls that are filled with agates. Their golden shine when they’re wet from the rain or the sea is amazing. I’ve been walking the beach for years and this is the first time I’ve discovered agates!
Special rocks and dogs are not the only blessing I’ve received this year. I have a new kitty named Zoe. She prefers to live outdoors, even in the cold weather, and visits me twice a day for a meal. We started out hundreds of feet apart, but now she’ll sit confidently a few feet away when I put out her food. Someday I hope to in-cooperate her into our home, but for now, this is her preference. She lives by her wits and she’s really good at it. I am not sure why Zoe has chosen me or why she’s in my life. But everyday, at times we’re both accustomed to, she arrives for her meal. She’s pretty feral, but her sweet personality and picky eating habits make me smile.
Having animal friends, be they yours or on their own, who you can share your time is what life is all about for me. Zoe and I have been warming to each other all year. Hopefully someday she’ll walk though our door and unpack her satchel. My two cats aren’t terribly thrilled she dines here, but they put up with her. Maybe someday they’ll let her join our home. And maybe someday pigs will fly!
I’m also grateful for the new and true human friendships I’ve made this year. Many are far away, some live here in my town. But I asked at the beginning of 201o for some real people in my life, and they have certainly appeared!
My friend Michael once said to me “whenever I see Lisa, I know I’m going to hear a great story.” It’s a huge compliment since Michael was a successful published author. He had a wonderful laugh, a quick wit, and a huge heart. He went to spirit at the end of the summer this past year. I lost many friends this past year, but Micheal’s passing has been an interesting transition for me. I will miss him in body, but this animal communicator never thought she’d be having long conversations with a human in spirit.
I don’t make New Year resolutions. I just try to stay aware and follow the path I’m on. And 2011 looks to be exciting.
who crossed “the day of the Dragon flies” Sept. 2010