luke looking up

"Consider the sweet, loving rapport we have with our pets. Steep yourself in that feeling for a moment. This is the feeling we should have for every tree, flower, and bird that passes into our life. This is the feeling that should navigate our dominion over Earth’s natural kingdom. This is the feeling that will develop in us a deeper awareness of the more subtle, energetic aspects of nature, our intimate partner in this physical experience. Nature’s promise awaits you. Take a walk, look around, listen, smell, taste. Appreciate." - Gregge Tiffen (from Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

This quote is from a book that I’ve read several times. Last night as I was reading a booklet from the same author, I read it again. It was interesting, but, until this morning, didn’t have a particularly strong resonance.

Hey, I live in the woods and enjoy the blessings of a mountain landscape every day. I notice what birds and beasts are making their presence known (crow has been cawing throughout the day for several days and a pack of coyote woke me just after 4am as they howled, most likely in celebration of a meal). And, it’s no surprise to anyone who’s read a few of my posts, that my beloved canine Luke is my teacher every day.

I live to appreciate nature. I thrive on noticing her subtle changes. I’m every curious and in awe of the messages nature offers.

But this morning before the day’s first light, Luke (normally fast asleep at that hour) touched a place deep inside when he stood up on all fours and, with a look of concern in his eyes, wheezed as if breathing was difficult.

I moved over to where he was standing, gently rubbed his ears, and quietly asked “are you okay buddy?” He wheezed again and plopped down with his head in my lap, soulful eyes looking up at me. He didn’t seem his confident self, and I assured him (despite my own doubt in the moment) that “everything is fine.” After a few minutes of gently stroking his side, Luke’s breathing returned to normal and his eyes regained their confident, soulful look. He reached out with his left paw and returned a few strokes on my arm.

I can’t yet fully articulate the place in my heart that Luke touched this morning or what messages may yet be revealed. But, the deep appreciation, love, and the little tinge of fear in those precious minutes of reverence have me wonder what it will be like to deepen my connection with nature even more and to continue to learn from ‘Life Changing Luke’ as one of nature’s best teachers.

As for Luke, he says to tell you that he’s fine and that the wheezing was just another moment of being in tune with the Universe to create a teaching moment for mom.  And, he say's "if you haven't met me yet, come on over to Crestone and visit us at the Dragonfly House."

Reflection for the Week: As summer gives way to fall, give yourself the gift of paying attention to and feeling a reverence for nature. What gifts does nature give you in return?