Saturday Morning Spells

Sunrays 1288

There is something so enchanting about the first morning light. As darkness relents to the rising sun the whole world is aglow for just a few moments. Light filters through trees, like a mystical omen of the magic to come. The world seems to warm. It’s only meant for a few. It’s too easy to miss, to sleep through.

During this time, in the summer months anyway – of which there are at least six here in middle Florida – the ground begins to make noise. Fallen leaves rustle, rocks are pushed out of the way by tiny reptilian feet. Most birds are still rubbing the sleep from their eyes, but a few start to chirp a little lazily.

There is one that seems to sit just outside my bedroom window whose sole purpose is to let me know the sun is about to come up. In an hour. He panics, I think.

Once the day begins to brighten and the sun makes its way to a visible point, the rest of the avian world begins to come alive. Two mourning doves coo sweet nothings on my fence. At times they roam around the floor of my tiny backyard looking for morsels. So at home, they wait until the very last minute to fly off in a huff when the hounds are released for their morning routines.

It is Saturday. The usual humming of car motors, the rise and fall of garage doors and the air brakes of the school bus are all absent. In their place is silence; the background on which all other sounds can be heard more clearly. A wind chime from two doors down announces a gentle breeze, a dog barks in the distance and beside me a cat works a catnip filled toy, causing the tiny bell on her collar to sing with excitement.

It’s too early and not enough hot yet for the summer bugs to begin singing. I don’t know what they are, some sort of cicada maybe, but I love their song. Or more probably, what it represents, and the fond memories of fleeting summers where there were three other seasons.

In an hour or so, the light will be different, more common. The sweet sounds against the quiet background will be lost to activity. The morning will be just a memory soon forgotten as the day picks up speed.

But later, much later – although it will be here before we know it – will be dusk. That golden hour when the sun, knowing it’s time is short, will flame out spectacularly providing the perfect light for a few fleeting moments before bidding adieu.

Yet there is still light, even after the sun slips below the horizon. As the creatures of the earth honor the rising sun each morning, it is the sun itself that celebrates the end of its workday with an explosion of colors that dance within the clouds.

I wonder what colors the sky will celebrate this evening.

[Photo: Allison L. Andersen. Taken at the Amrit Yoga Institute, Salt Springs, Florida.]

Godspeed Scrappy

scrappy 3Today I went with a friend to the vet to put her dog to sleep. He was 8. Beginning this past Saturday he started to whimper and by Sunday he had lost the use of his back legs. A pinched nerve or inflammation was the suspicion. After four days of vet visits and myriad treatments a specialist declared Scrappy, that was his name, had a nearly severed spinal column and no amount of surgery or drugs could help him.  A degenerative disorder. The extremely difficult decision was made to let him go.

Where’s the enchantment in that?

There was nowhere to be except completely present. Feel the feelings. Sadness for my friend, loss for me – I’d known him since she got him, watched him when she was away, yelled at him for jumping on people and barking at the neighbors. I cried more than she did. She was exhausted, cried out and at peace with her decision. He seemed at peace with it too.

The sparkle was gone from his eyes and he looked tired and confused. We stayed with him as he slipped away, kissing the top of his head whispering sweet nothings that he could take with him on his trip. His buddy left earlier this year and he would be waiting to welcome him.

The enchantment is in the memories of a goofy dog that didn’t know when he rushed in to love you it was like hurling a bowling ball through space. If you weren’t prepared you’d be under him on the floor. It’s remembering how when you said his name he’d close his mouth and stop wagging his tale to look at you as if he could only do one or the other.

When he was let outside he shimmied along the screen enclosure and the fence where there was rock or bark on the ground. He sped across the grass as if it was on fire to get from one patch of rock to the next. Grass wasn’t his thing. He tossed his toys in the air and caught them himself when the humans tired of the game. He insisted on sitting on laps.

The enchantment is in bringing those memories forth to the present moment, re-experiencing them, feeling the kind of open heart that can only come from loving a dog – even if it isn’t yours.

The enchantment is in knowing there are so many other dogs out there that deserve the same shot at a loving, caring home.

The enchantment is in the love you felt, and will continue to feel, for the dog that wanted nothing but to give love. It’s in taking that love that’s left after he’s gone and sharing it with every other living creature.

For 8 years that enchantment was Scrappy.

Godspeed Scrappy, you silly big goofball of love.