Good morning. And what a freezing morning it is. Yesterday we woke up--in California, mind you--to discover our pipes had frozen. In my entire life this has never happened to me. It was short lived, maybe an hour, and having to make coffee in the french press was about the worst that happened as a result. Still, it made me think...how much do we take for granted?
We can't help it, and we shouldn't even be entirely encouraged out of this behavior--it appears to be writ in the DNA.
Still...this morning I was especially grateful for the steady flow of water. And started thinking more about gratitude...which seems to be a matter of mindfulness. You don't need to drop to your knees for every thing you are grateful about, but it's not a bad thing to be mindful of it all--and to follow it up with appreciation. It makes you feel better.
In my grief I've spent a lot of time thinking of all the things I wish I had done differently with Figaro. Especially in the last week. More cuddling, more kindness, less shooing him away and scolding him for begging for food. Damn do we miss him so. We looked through pictures of him yesterday--we took a lot!--and that helped to remember all the fun we had with him.
Last night E. and I watched a special Nature retrospective. Two of the pieces really nailed us in the heart. First, a 73 year old man who had been forced to flee his New Orleans home due to Hurricane Katrina was sobbing because he'd had to leave his cat behind. He'd already snuck in twice illegally to find her, and was going back for a third. Tearfully he told the interviewer, "She's all I've got. She's my family." E. and I promptly burst into tears. The good news was, he found her.
Second, an old Elephant named Shirley--some 52 years old, who had been in the circus of course and even survived a sinking ship--was being moved out of her home in a Louisiana zoo that could not keep her, to one in Tennessee that already had Elephants. Her first night there, the keepers of the sanctuary heard lots of noise coming from inside the elephant barn. In the morning they discovered that Shirley and another elephant named Jenny who were in adjacent pens, had bent the bars to attempt to get to each other. Turned out that Jenny and Shirley were buds from the circus more than 25 years before. They had not seen each other in that time, and Shirley had not seen ANY other elephants. They remembered each other, and what's more, they were desperate to be together again.
They became inseperable. Walking with their trunks wrapped around one another. Cuddling, standing near one another.
You see...we need the comfort only other living beings can provide. Sometimes its people, sometimes its animal...but we need it.
So I feel okay letting the grief poke me here and there. I did take Figaro for granted, there's no doubt, and I am looking around my life now and asking, who else/what else needs more of my mindful attention?
For those of you who have kindly asked how we are, well, I can tell you that we're not rushing to make it go away, because then, the next time we lose someone or another pet, it will still be there, waiting with a vengeance.