Most animals are sensible creatures. They nurture themselves with idle moments.
Then there is us, the not very sensible animal that created time or rather the measurement of time to help us manage our day. I understand it can be a useful tool. I mean, you don’t want to be in Donner’s Pass in February but consider something as mundane as morning coffee. Do you savor the smell and let the slightly acidic taste roll around in your mouth? Or are you thinking about what must be done next? Worse still, are you one of those ‘coffee gulpers’, scalding your tongue as you head out the door already hours and miles away before you have even left the house?
Our animal companions are great teachers of living in the now. They enjoy the experience as it presents itself. There is nothing else at that moment, and they are not concerned with the next thing. There is only THIS thing. They have no worries of what is to come because there is no future; they let the day come to them as it is going to come, as it is destined to be. They are part of the rhythm of the earth; as we are. But our minds just get full of nonsense and we forget to listen to the music. We waste great amounts of time worrying over events that have not and may not happen, not to mention the contingency plans we create for the imaginary incident. Not very sensible.
Take a moment to consider how your companion acts when you arrive home at the end of the day. She’s not concerned if you will or will not be feeding her, nor is she thinking about how you are going to be leaving her tomorrow. She’s excited about the current event. You are together and at that time, there nothing else is in the universe.
Animals enjoy whatever opportunity is in front of them. Some cats will sit on the sunny spot in the living room, napping or chase a fly in a window for an hour. A dog will roll in the smelly thing in the driveway because it’s there and it smells mighty good…to him. A dolphin will jump out of the water for the simple joy of the act. I’ve watched a wild fox bat at a pine cone hanging from a spruce bough for twenty three minutes. I’m sure he was on his way to do something, but playing with the pine cone was what he chose to do because the opportunity was there.
What do we miss everyday because we are not present, not in the ‘now’? How many little miracles do we not see; or see, but do not take advantage of? Yes, there are many things that need to be done. We all have lists. But the next time an opportunity shows itself, take a deep breath and for just a moment, watch a miracle unfold. Maybe we should add that to our list.