I am full of smiles today! The sun’s not out, but the air is filled with birds singing and chipmunks and squirrels chirping. My front lawn is still half snow, but the other half is currently providing treats for the robins, and it’s absolutely beautiful to see.
The chipmunk that lives in the stone wall that lines my driveway is peeking out “Is winter over finally so I can start digging holes in my yard?” Did you notice that he claims our yard as his own personal territory? Every time I fill in the holes, they reappear with even bigger mounds of dirt outside as though he’s furiously trying to make a point.
Pup is racing around like a maniac, nose twitching in the air. Dry leaves rustle with creatures, stretching, yawning and greeting each other after a long winter.
Today might be the final day I wear cleats on my boots (I say this for the third time, but really, I think today’s the day!). I’ve made it my mission in life to clear shit from the trail. Poor dogs have had nowhere else to poop for ages, and the trail is filled with landmines at every step.
I must be a real dog person. Someone posted a message to the town mailing list complaining that their next door neighbor lets their three dogs run free and poop on their lawn, so they were FORCED to pick up the poop and throw it back on the neighbor’s lawn. I read that and my first thought was “The entire town is leashless, so what makes you think the poop belongs to those particular dogs?” My second thought was “You went through all that trouble to pick up the dog poop for the sole purpose of throwing it on your neighbor’s lawn? You couldn’t throw it, like, two feet away into the woods?”
Oh, I dunno, maybe I’m the odd duck. After all, my place of inspiration is a cluttered office that smells of stale marijuana smoke, I only bathe when I have to, and my favorite socks are hospital socks. I don’t notice that I can’t walk from A to B in my house without running into all the junk that’s accumulated on the floors or that empty toilet rolls and shampoo bottles are overflowing my bathroom.
One time we came back from a long plane trip and I was exhausted. We picked the dogs up from the kennel and I opened the door to let them run free. I was too tired to walk them properly.
I watched through my window in horror as the neighbor across the street stood on his front stoop observing my 85-lb lab take a huge shit on his lawn. The neighbor never once bitched at me about it. For some reason that act of forgiveness and tolerance by my neighbor filled me with eternal gratitude and everlasting fondness for that family. Their dog can shit on my lawn any time.
Actually, anyone’s dog can shit on my lawn. I have so many more important things to worry about like maintaining my sanity as I watch the people I love facing the end of their lives.
But anyway, yes, I’m full of smiles today. Lately I’ve been watching Ajahn Brahm dharma talks on YouTube, and he says “Smile when you meditate!” So I’ve been smiling while meditating. Now I can’t get rid of the damned thing!