I’m thinking about impermanence.
Tonight we met up with Antje and went swimming in a beautiful lake.
After a little while Austin got out and decided to explore the shore. We could hear him rustling in the brush nearby but we couldn’t see him.
Suddenly we heard this tremendous noise from right where he was and looked up to see an enormous tree come thundering down.
It suspended time.
We were helpless there in the water, watching it ripping at other tree limbs on the way down.
I heard myself make a weird grief sound I’ve never heard.
Then I heard the tree hit.
And then I saw that sweet dog face come like lightning out of the brush. Best thing I’ve ever seen.
He plunged into that water and paddled right to me.
I could just barely stand in the water by then and he bunched himself up in my arms like a child and put his chin over my shoulder and stayed there completely still –– except for his heart which was pounding against his ribs.
Everything stopped and I just held him for the longest time.
I will never forget that. The weight of that chin resting on my shoulder.
There is a grace that sometimes happens at the heart of impermanence.
Standing there with my beloved friend Antje who almost died in a car crash nine months ago but didn’t –––– and holding this beloved dog who has survived everything –– I was reminded of how it can all be lost at any moment.
But sometimes it isn’t lost.
Sometimes there is a lake in August with a moon rising up and everybody has survived.
On the way back, Austin got a bee sting in the field. He hopped about wildly on three legs in the dark. We got him to lie down in the grass and we found that tiny little stinger buried deep in his paw.
I can’t straighten out that gnarled femur or mend those joints that were broken years ago. But I can take that tiny little stinger out.
The beautiful thing about dogs is that that is totally enough.
There’s no story of the old pain.
There’s just today.
And today was good.
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