Posts Tagged ‘remembering’

The question is: How do I cultivate a sense of wonder in my life?

I pay attention.

I have been conciously practicing this ever since my dog, Shadow, was diagnosed with bone cancer. He only lived for two more months, so I took each moment I could to be present with him to appreciate him.

These are some of the moments we had together:

He couldn’t walk far so I put both dogs in the car, rolled down the windows and drove slowly through the neighborhood, winding in and out of streets, watching Shadow lean his head out the window, close his eyes, and breathe in. He was beautiful.

I drove through McDonald’s and ordered 3 vanilla swirly cones, threw one in the back seat for Zephyr and let Shadow lick his off the cone. We did this nearly every day. I laughed, when I didn’t think I could anymore.

I traced his body with my fingers and wrote down each curve, color and texture of his fur. I memorized his ears, his eyes, his feet, his tail and I wrote it all down. He is with me, always.

Now, I take Zephyr, my shepherd and we walk, a lot. I don’t wear headphones, or carry a phone. There is no music or distractions. We are walking and listening and seeing the trees, the sky, the clouds. I notice things. I pay attention. I watch Zephyr, how he moves, what he does. I listen. There is a lot to hear and see when we walk alone. 



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I have been meaning to weed Shadow’s tree for some time now.  The crab grass was about to wind up the trunk,  and the city park’s lawn mower got so close the last time he mowed, he snapped one of the tree stakes in half  like a tooth pick. (If that had been Shadow’s tree, he would have been a hunted man.

The paper work, red tape, tree search, delivery, digging, permits it took to get this tree in the ground was staggering. I might have skipped it all and planted it when no one was looking.

I planted this tree four years ago, to honor Shadow, my first and most beloved dog who had just died. It fills in a line of plain trees along the fence of our neighborhood park and I walk by it  every day. I have watched it grow like a hovering parent. In hot months I have watered it, weeded it, fertilized it and even wound  protective tape about it during soccer season.

Trees, for whatever horrific reason, get badly abused around here, branches snapped off, bark peeled, spray painted or simply torn down. They need all the help they can get. I love this tree.

An hour later in the blistering heat–Zephyr watching from the shade–it is nicely clean. The lawn mower can keep his distance. 

Next,  I will lay bark and possibly some geraniums.  but my dad warns, “don’t bring any more attention to it.”  Good point. Let it quietly live, unflashy or beckoning to be bothered. Just watch it close and let it grow.


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Today is a bitter-sweet day. I don’t want to be sad, but losing you was so horrible and I miss you still. You were my constant, protector, travel companion, best friend.

You and I bud, we saved each other. ♥

Shadow:  found Oct 1995. Died July 27, 2006

Love you always, me and zephyr

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