Noticings – January 27, 2021


January 27, 2021
It took me 30 minutes to shovel it from my driveway. It took my neighbours 10 minutes to scrape it from their cars. And it took my dog Billie 10 seconds to have her entire head covered in it. The difference was me and my neighbours complained; Billie was in heaven! It was a sight to see. She’s always loved the snow, but yesterday when we took her for a walk it was like she had discovered something brand new. And it was the best thing ever! She was so excited by the snow that she was literally running circles around us trying to stick her face in every single snowflake there was. She didn’t want to miss any of them. So much snow. So much fun! When she started diving head first into snowbanks all we could do was laugh.

You could say (and of course I will) that she was utterly present to that present moment. This is one of the great gifts that dogs have, and a great lesson that they can teach us. I remember seeing this wonderful cartoon that showed a person walking their dog. Above their respective heads were thought bubbles. The human’s thought bubble was filled with desks, papers, cars, tools, offices, kids, computers, phones, etc. The dog’s thought bubble contained exactly the same things as the scene around them; trees, flowers, birds, grass, other dogs, sunshine. While the human appeared to be on a walk they were actually still fussing about their life. The human was ruminating about the past, and worrying about the future. Their thoughts were everywhere except being present to that present moment. The dog, however, was fully present, drinking in the sacredness of that gift.

Yeah, I know, dogs are simpler creatures, and humans don’t have the luxury of just letting all that other stuff go. We have to work. We have to make money. We have to solve problems. Dogs just get to go for walks, play with toys, and dive headlong into snowbanks. I can’t live a dog’s life. But my dog and her ridiculous, joyful antics in the snow yesterday shook me out of my overcrowded thought bubbles and focused me on that present moment. I saw her joy, and I felt joy. I saw her revelling in the moment, and I found myself revelling. It was about as sacred as it gets! I don’t know if I can get as excited about shovelling my driveway as Billie gets about playing in the snow, but I’m hoping that next time I pick up my shovel, or go for a walk, or sit at my computer and type up a Noticings, that I’ll try to quiet my swirling thoughts and look for the joy in the moment. If I can get half as much out of this moment as my doggo got out of our walk yesterday I would be blessed beyond measure.

Rev. Larry