Breathing Room

QuietI often need it… at the beginning of the day when most of the house is quiet. My cats meow for me first thing, but really they are ready for breakfast (I make them wait until I return). My dog is sleepy-headed and my bladder is wide awake before I am. That first fresh air I get when I take my 16-year-old dog out for his morning relief feels special now. I must look odd to the early birds driving by seeing me carrying my dog to his favorite Palm tree. Even though he truly needs to go, he is reluctant to walk to his favorite place, I suspect because he is still sleepy and I think his arthritis bothers him going down the hill to the street. I enjoy the warmth when holding him on the way and I should probably mention this is a small dog… I am not trying to haul a large Labrador down the street in my arms. No, my dog Buddy is a Dachshund and although he is heavier since I have had him for nine months, he was light as a feather with ribs showing, when I brought him home. I had rescued him from Umbrella of Hope (an elder animal non-profit group). Sadly his owners just did not want him anymore. That to me is the equivalent of not wanting your child and dropping him off someplace like an item on a to-do list. But he gets so much love here and I spoil him. Whatever years he has left I want him to feel happy and safe. Walking back from his favorite Palm he trots along at a slow pace in the morning. I often have caught his shadow and I can’t help but giggle. I notice the birds singing, and sometimes catch glimpses of squirrels or Turkey Vultures soaring. Buddy is perfectly leash trained. If I stop, he stops… always walking on my left side… always by my side or behind, never running ahead of me.

Back inside, off comes the leash and off Buddy goes to find his bed. He takes a morning nap since he is still very sleepy. That works well since my cats need breakfast, I need coffee and I need peace and quiet. I have found I really truly enjoy the few quiet moments in the morning before I need to shower and dress and the rest of the house wakes up. Usually when I don’t have a short while to enjoy the calm, the breathing room, I have a really grumpy morning. Often I am impatient and feel like I need to run screaming into the hills but can’t because I am trapped with my adoring animals, or waiting on something else or someone else needing my attention. Those days can be difficult, but then I calm down realizing that I just am feeling unsettled… I didn’t have that quiet time that sets the tone for my day.

In my twenties I didn’t need quiet. I enjoyed it, but the energy of youth is different. Peace can be found in so many little things. And although I find beauty in so many things, I also have absorbed information and watched the world change and my awareness of a world in chaos now requires something peaceful and calm to relieve my stress of feeling all of it. Perhaps the breathing and listing and enjoying a moment takes away some of the overwhelming thoughts that can invade my mind… it is possible that part of my mind is broken and this is my minds way of trying to provide it a natural medicine. Perhaps writing about all of this also is helping ease the strain…. I can only hope it is.