"Heat, ma'am! It was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones."
~Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir...
I have been dog-sitting this week for two beautiful Border Collies – Patience and Sonny. This along with my own pups – Scout (half Border Collie and half Golden Retriever) and my baby puppy Maudie (an eight-pound dachshund). I am essentially a dog person. I have a cat (Zuzu) and I have had cats. Cats are lovely, but so, so bossy. I am a little bossy thus I prefer pups.
I am also “dog-like.” I love the line from “Eat Pray Love” where Elizabeth Gilbert jumps into relationships with as much thought as a Golden Retriever jumping into a pool. This is an excellent description of how I have made many a decision.
As for dog-like, I mean…I love food. I think a long walk is the best part of many days. I like playing, cuddling and enthusiasm. This is why I am a dog person.
This week it has been super hot…like it is August although it’s June. I will not complain about heat for three reasons: 1) I hate the cold. So, since I reserve my right to grumble about chill, I will remain mum on heat. 2) I don’t mind it: I love sun, beach and some sweat. I think it all rinses me to being open to what is next. 3) My grandpa said, “You can’t do anything about the weather.” (He was a farmer and he was right.)
However, I have worried over the dogs in the heat. Dogs can handle being very cold – but being too hot is terrible for them. So, I have tried to get them wet and take them swimming. I have been hosing them, prodding little Maudie to jump in the water and in general we have been taking it slow.
Totally anomalous concept to me: if you know me I do everything fast. As if I am a puppy at dawn in the revved up period! All the time I speak fast, move fast, I will respond to you quickly. I am a “joiner,” a “go-er” – so I am often going somewhere and am a part of lots of communities.
At 9 p.m. it occurs to me to bake banana bread, or move my bed to a window or clean out a closet. I am a “high energy” person. I mean I also have ADHD – so that mixed with rapid interactions makes me often in a rush. I also have a speedy mind, as industrious as a puppy chewing on the zillions of things they chew on.
Oh, I am not glad of this!
All my life I have been admonished to “slow down!” and I always think, “I am trying!” In fact I practice meditation, yoga and a lot of dog walking to help me learn a lingering, chatting, unhurried, a true dawdle lifestyle. This is what the heat has brought me this week…a deceleration of sorts. A quiet.
In the thick heat I am engaged only in a tiny bit of hanging about. I am reading two great books (“The Great Gatsby” and “The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher”) and eating fresh strawberries, blueberries and granola. I am watching dogs play…and just breathing in and breathing out …enjoying the still.
Wishing you the same.