Howdy everyone. It’s May! Not sure why that is specifically good news, but it is nonetheless! I hope you are all doing well and that you enjoyed the

#UltimateBlogChallenge. True, I didn’t blog EVERY DAY, but I blogged enough to remind me of why I love doing what I do. It wasn’t 100 percent, but I’ll take that 80 percent and call it a victory.
I’ve been really struggling lately. Nothing in particular, just the everyday melding into one another and feeling completely directionless. I’m sure I am not the only one who feels this way. I’ve thrown myself into multiple projects and fun activities, but I still find myself with way too much time to think and not a lot of time to mentally and emotionally relax from the constant rush of the household and my thoughts.
What I have been getting into lately is going outside at night with Dodson. Nothing crazy; he runs loose and plays with the crickets, constantly distracted by the neighborhood cats he so desperately wants to play with– but who don’t reciprocate the feeling—and me? Well, I just sit. I curl up on the porch with my laptop or my phone, enjoying the quiet this quarantine has afforded us here in my city. It’s been so quiet at night and I love it.
This evening, I let Dodson out while I finished up some stuff around the kitchen. When I was ready, I went out and found him waiting for me with all his bouncy Tigger-like energy and the best kisses. I sat down on the porch, ready to settle in for a few minutes of quiet. But it seems Dodson had better ideas. He tugged me to the middle of my parents’ driveway, where he sat down and seemed to cock his head at me like, “Well? Are you coming or not?” Admittedly I was confused, but years of Dodson training me meant that I followed as he silently demanded or else. That ‘or else’ remains a big question in my mind, but I digress. As I sat down beside him, he turned to look out over the yard, his frantic tail wagging slowing to a stop, his ears pricked forward, and his attention completely captured by… nothing. There was no animal or sound that dragged his attention away from me, no changes in body language that told me he wasn’t focused. He was simply… existing in the moment.
Standing nice and tall, Dodson did the one thing that let me know he was happy; he leaned over to tuck his head into my neck, his snout on my chest. And in that pose, he let out the gentlest huff that I think I have ever heard him make. My boy seemed so completely happy, so content in the moment of existing. He was admiring the beauty of nothing in its everythingness. If he’s as smart as I tend to think he is, he may have been appreciating the quiet moments living in California does not give us. It was peaceful, the night creatures were stirring, and no car or person interrupted the moment. It’s truly a moment I will remember.
It amazes me that this dog knows just how to give me a reality check. I’ve been struggling so hard mentally and emotionally, fighting to breathe normal and to remain calm when the kids are running and screaming and there just doesn’t seem to be a break. In his small ways, Dodson reminded me to stop and admire the beauty of nothing in its everythingness, to listen to the silence and admire the quiet for the nothingness it affords my frantically racing mind. I am glad he’s here to keep me grounded when humans sometimes just can’t do it. I’m not perfectly fine, but I’m getting there.
At this moment, I am sitting on my bedroom floor as I type this, still brushing cement dust, twigs and dirt from my dress… because my dog wanted to sit on the still warm concrete instead of the cool grass. He sat in the direction of the cool wind and I am for certain he did it for a reason. With all this in mind, I am, if anything reassured in the fact that I will continue to do all I can. Participate in fun things if I can. If anything, this has solidified my plan to run a call on Wednesday to check in with everyone. See where they are and see how we can help. Everyone needs a gentle reality check that everything will be alright and as scared as I am, I want to do this for them the way Dodson has done it for me.
Be well.

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