I learn a lot from the animals who live with me. Today, the lessons seem to be on aging and acceptance. The two older gals - one 13.5 (Chiana) and the other at least 13, although a more realistic estimate is around 16-18 (Demeter) - exist moment to moment, both of them sleeping longer and more deeply (as if to wink in and out of that other realm) than in the past, contrasting significantly with the patterns of the younger crowd. There is a sweetness within them, though, that softens the resistance I have to their aging, easing it into acceptance just as they seem to accept the present gracefully most of the time, not comparing it to how they were yesterday or whether they will be here tomorrow. Although, because they have different personalities, the process is very different. Demeter with her solid Kapha constitution simply becomes more and more relaxed. Chiana, strongly Vata, can become restless and anxious, seeking reassurance and averse to being alone, but then it passes and is forgotten as she settles down.
Fear used to surround me a lot when it come to the thought of death and worrying about these blessed companions dying. They are such a huge and integral part of my life -- of my very being. They are Mother Nature living with me as we are knitted together as one unit. When I was a kid at home, the animals would simply disappear - there one day and then gone. It made no sense to me. And then, when Amber (photo) died in January 1997, a portal opened up as I moved into a sense/sensation of what 'death' meant, and it was not what I thought it would be. Her dying, the first I experienced on my own with a precious one I had raised, loved and cared for her whole life, was painful and excruciatingly real. I was grateful, though, that I had found a spiritual center prior to losing her that offered tremendous support. Since then, with each beloved's passing, with each transitional experience of a uniquely beautiful being, the sensation grows: acceptance. To accept does not mean to become depressed and resigned, as it is not debilitating, but rather is opening, allowing the peace and love of all that is natural to reside within oneself, to truly be Self.
Aging and Acceptance. Natural and Now.