As we transition into autumn in the Northeast, the trees are slowly starting to show how beautiful letting go can be. One of the maples that line our driveway appears to be on fire while the others remain clothed in their late summer dress. Minus any storms, I suspect we’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the colors of the season.
This morning while writing, I heard our two cats – Berty and Wednesday, playing with something in the kitchen. I suspected they were batting around one of their toys, but to my surprise, when I went in to see what all the racket was about, I discovered something else.
Somehow one of the stinkers had opened an upper kitchen cabinet and pulled out a bag of raisins. Before I could catch them (young cats are like lightning-fast gazelles when they have food in their mouths!), each had ingested a few. Knowing this was a problem (raisins are toxic to dogs and cats) I instantly went into active-meditation mode.
Rather than panic, I noticed where my mind went – to the past and the time that Poupon had eaten a lily leaf and wound up in ICU. To the future and a fear of them dying on my watch. And to the hassle of it all – finding a vet on a Sunday, a possible emergency room visit, and wondering if I’d have to drop them off and wait outside.
Fortunately, thanks to meditation, I’ve learned to watch myself. These disturbing thoughts lasted less than a minute because I stopped them with the one directive that always pulls me back to the present moment: Sweetheart, simply respond to what’s unfolding before you.
After some online research, a conversation with our vet, extra food with lots of water, and an appointment to be seen this afternoon, I sat down to finish this blog. Was I nervous? Of course, but not like I used to be (anxiously watching their every move). Instead, I’m focused and dealing with what’s in front of me now – this blog.
Life is a never-ending evolution of unexpected surprises. Some comfortable. Some not so much. The ride, regardless of what’s happening, can be an opportunity to flex and strengthen your spiritual muscles by remembering to breathe, relax, and simply respond to what’s unfolding before you. I know this might sound simplistic especially when dealing with scary or difficult situations. But I’ve grown to see it as an elegant response, one that invites clarity, wisdom, and much-needed resourcefulness.
And it also helps others to remain calm, too.
I used to be far more neurotic before meditation. I suspect my husband would say I still am sometimes. But the ride is less bumpy and problems often seem to resolve themselves when I behave like an autumn tree and simply let go. After a home visit by our vet, some fluids, and a few tasty treats, today’s little cat caper proved it so.