There must be a place where things are quiet and still.
Perhaps this is called peace of mind. I know that I have experienced it many times over the past six weeks-- experienced it deeply, but it is always fleeting. Or, perhaps, not fleeting but blown out the window when a gust of distractions that seem impossible to ignore for their immediacy and urgency sweep in and turn everything upside down.
I think what I am after is being able to hold steady in that peace of mind in the midst of the mini-tornado that swirls up out of nowhere-- a minute ago, a quiet corner-- now, an unexpected phone call, lost dogs, endless emails, unavoidable errands.
Did I slip 'lost dogs' in there? Oh yes, instead of writing to you about my glorious Saturday afternoon when I had ALL my books home here, safe and the trip to Portland done done and dusted. When I had all three dogs with me here-- Oliver, Henry & Daisy--where they would be for the week-- and we walked through the fields with Q (her name is Irish and pronounced CUE-wen but I don't know how to spell it so I just call her Q) I had the idea to tell you of our new pack-- the Black and Tans.
Of course, I wanted to have a photo first and the photo would be taken on Sunday. Except that Sunday morning, around 5:30 am, Oliver and Henry took off. While I was half-asleep and not thinking (so don't even ask WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?! Because the answer is, I wasn't. My mind was in no way engaged) I let them out for a pee without going downstairs with them because for the past six weeks, Henry and Daisy have been close to home and come back to the door without incident.
When I returned, there was Daisy, good as gold waiting by the door-- the other two? Gone.
It's been over 48 hours and half my brain is completely unavailable to me as I can't even think straight. Every police station, humane society, vet office and animal hospital has been contacted-- as have our neighbors and the neighboring towns. If any one sees them, they will be returned-- but right now, I am thinking they are deep in the mountains-- that is, when I am thinking. I am trying not to.
So yeah, what was I writing about? Peace of mind.
Saturday, I thought-- wow! This is it! I have made it through-- I am on the other side. The drama has ended. I can now revel in the sweet pace and rhythms that have been eluding me lo these tumultuous months.
And yet, today is a glorious day. Full on sun. Bluest of blue skies. Shimmering green grass and swaying yellow meadows. Daisy, Q and I took a long, long walk through new fields and new paths. It was simply beautiful. And so-- beauty and pain can co-exist. I can feel and see beauty while at the same time be aching for my two dogs to return.
Perhaps it is always this way? Perhaps this is what it means to be in peace-- to simply accept it all. Accept everything and stop trying to get all the ducks to face the same way at the same time which, as you know, ducks are feisty, wiggly little creatures that don't much care to stand still or line up.
I've got no answers for you. But I know I want the balance. I know I do not want to be swinging up and then down. I know I want to be in that centered place where the tornado rises up around my ankles and grows tight and furious around my abdomen and continues to lift up into my heart and throat and make me feel like I am choking, dying even-- but if I can stay relaxed through it all-- let it continue up and spin off the top of my head-- just witness it, I think I will be closer to that place I seek. I think I will be be closer to living with absolute trust and release all beliefs that I have anything to do except breathe.