Some days I wonder if the four-footed one is part cat. Not that you can see it in her appearance, so I assume it would be way back in her bloodline. It is more in the way she moves and responds to certain things.
For example, there are darling birds in one of our trees. Now and then, the birds like to fly down and peck around in the ground. If little Miss Four-Feet is near them, she will get into a crouching stalk-like stance and start to stalk them. Ever so slowly does she make her way to them, until she knows that she can make an easy leap to snatch them. She forgets they are birds, so they can fly away before she actually gets them between her paws.
She is determined though, perhaps she also got nine lives of type, in this case, nine lives of determination and trying. So far, she hasn’t caught any birds, but that doesn’t stop her from trying. Try she does, with her whole being! And each time she comes up shocked and surprised, there is no bird between her cute little paws, but she can see them chirping at her from a branch just beyond her reach.
There are times that I wonder if the four-footed one doesn’t have built-in radar. Her hearing is excellent: touch a bag within a block of her, and it seems she can hear it. Her radar, however, kicks in far before I am within a block of our house.
My neighbor told the other day that the four-footed one bounced up from deep sleep to wait for my return from the market. That day I happened to come home with two bags with items she likes to eat. The market is more than a block away, and from what my neighbor said, she sat there for the full thirty minutes it takes to walk home.
Let me tell you, the enthusiasm she greeted me with was terrific. Of course, once I set the bags down, she wasn’t interested in me, she started rooting through the bags on her own.
I’m pretty sure you could hear her snuffling for miles around. To be honest, I’m surprised she didn’t inhale any of the items with how hard she was sniffing, and how far into the bag she had stuck her small face.
She reminds me, every day, how powerful and strong she is, despite looking so small and delicate!
I used to be sure of things, such as my future, my dreams, and my plans to move forward with what I want. I used to proceed with confidence and grace.
Somehow, somewhere, I lost that certainty and confidence. Maybe it is time or life experiences that wear you down. Perhaps it is in knowing that things are never as black and white as they seem that erodes these traits from us.
Maybe it is the innocence and brashness of our youth that allows us to pay no heed to how things may go wrong, or where all the pitfalls could be waiting for us.
While I miss some of that swaggering confidence, the considerations I find myself doing give me the tickles, in the right way, mind you! It is as if I am picking up pieces, examining them closely, seeing the value in things where once I made quick decisions about objects, and people. It is, in a way, a bit like savoring each delicious mouthful of a beautiful meal rather than devouring it in record speed.
Maybe the real gift with time passing is how we slow down, consider things, and enjoy the moments as they come.
There is something to be said about sipping a good coffee and reading a good book while a dog rests against your feet. It’s healing and soothing and just right.
So that’s what I was doing today, enjoying a cup of strong coffee while reading an interesting book as the four-footed one curled up against one of my feet and started to snore. There was a slight wind that seemed to grow a little stronger each time it moved the trees, but nothing too concerning. Four-feet certainly didn’t sense anything wrong with this wind.
I’m not sure how long my neighbor had been calling out to me before I heard her, but she seemed somewhat agitated when I lifted my hand and gave her a wave. As I made my way towards her, she started to speak fast, I understood less than half of what she said, but the gist of things was that the wind, which was still gaining in strength was terrible. We needed to “batten down the hatches” and get indoors.
I started securing what I could, moving pots and plants as required. The four-footed one had wandered closer to the pond. By the time I finished doing what I could, the dog had returned to wait for the duck and me.
The duck meant I needed to fill the small pool so she’d have a place to swim and do whatever it is that ducks do in the water. A full pool later, the wind was now blowing steady and hard, like a stream of air, items were flying around outside while we watched from the safety of the house.
My neighbor was right, that lousy wind had come.
Some people will never leave from where they grew up, sure, they will move into a different area of the city, or perhaps a separate suburb, but they won’t travel far. Other people will go far from where they grew up, possibly settling down thousands of miles away from there. Still, others never really settle; they are nomads for life.
A home may be where your blood relatives are, or it may be where your friends are. Home is a feeling or a sense for some people, and for some, home is discovered on a whim.
I’ve happily traversed all over the globe, finding a home among friends and unique places alike. Adventures, oh heavens, yes, there have been those as well as peace and calm that I didn’t know existed.
I cannot fathom a life without finding a sense of home, yet many among us lack a physical home and find that sense, among others.
It may feel like something awful and unfair is happening to you when you hear you have a chronic illness. I know life isn’t fair, but it feels a bit much.
Time heals things they say. It doesn’t heal how you feel, but you learn to live with the ebb and the flow of your condition. Time and experience give you perspective; you form a relationship of sorts with your chronic illness. You would never call it a friend, that would be going too far. But you come to appreciate how you adapt to live with it and enjoy the good days so much more now.
You learn that there are positive aspects of living with your condition. Lupus has taught me to appreciate the simple things in life, those moments of small joys such as the sun on the flowers and how luxurious it is to spend time with friends. I’ve learned how important it is to take care of myself even when it would be easier to hide behind school and work. I’ve discovered to appreciate the things that make life easier, and that you genuinely do have to put your mask on before you can help anyone else once the masks come down in the airplane. I’ve also come to realize that if you don’t put yourself and your well being first, no one else will either.
Have you ever done something because it feels good even though you know you shouldn’t do it? Maybe you completely blew your healthy eating plan off for the day and enjoyed all the foods you ignore. If you did that, you probably decided that moderation could be tossed to the wind for the day as well.
It’s okay; you are human, after all. We all have these moments. Most likely, after you’ve had that moment of pure joy, you go back to taking care of yourself and doing what you should do. That is until the next time you decide to do something different. No harm, no foul, right?
When you have a chronic illness like lupus, doing something that you aren’t supposed to, something that isn’t in keeping with maintaining your health can come back and bite you in the form of being sicker or messing up your blood work. I’ve stood in the sun even though it doesn’t agree with lupus. And yes, I have paid dearly for it later on in the form of a flare. Sure, I’ve eaten stuff I shouldn’t have eaten, and lupus has thrown a tantrum. Hey, I’m human; sometimes, I do things despite lupus.