This particular train of thought has been on my mind since Tuesday, when I attended the funeral of a teacher-colleague. I smile as I type the word "train" because, as I learned at his service, this man was a huge train fan. I never knew that about him and wish I had had the opportunity to learn more about this passion of his. He was also an ordained minister, one whose gentle spirit and love of all living things was evident in his everyday life. I will miss his calm, constant presence in our lives.
The scripture passage used on his program is what triggered my thoughts - once again - about how our animals are simultaneously more attuned to the present and yet see beyond this world. To quote:
And we are contemplating, not the things that are seen, but the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are temporal, whereas the things that are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:18)
Does it not seem that often our animals see past the temporary quality that is life? While they live fully in the moment, enjoying what is in the here and now, they also are bigger than the world we live in with wisdom and understanding that goes beyond what we, as humans, see and know.
This is how I want to live, how I want to evolve, what I strive to become.
Interestingly (and because, as my friend CJ says, there are no coincidences), two blog posts I read this morning touch on topics related to my thoughts. I get daily emails from Tiny Buddha. One of today's post from the site is titled "Lessons from Dogs on Being Present and Healing After Loss." It is fabulous. The second (and also wonderful) post is titled "How Death Teaches Us to Live Fully: 7 Enlightening Lessons."
A lot to think about; a lot to incorporate into my way of being. I will close today with a poem mentioned in one of the above articles which is, I believe, my perfect way to start the weekend:
THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
-- Wendell Berry