Luna and Berkley are snoring—a comforting melody for this writer. Why? Because I’m not sure how this entry is going to work out. There have been so many moments this summer that have been absolute treasures…but to share them all in one blog post…is going to require faith, patience, and self-compassion. Writing THIS will be a challenge.
Fasten your seat-belts. This might get bumpy.
It’s probably best to start indoors—in the office, actually, where Alderaan spends the afternoons sleeping in my desk chair. There’s a towel covering that seat now; he has sharp claws capable of puncturing faux-leather and he sheds like it’s going out of style. Despite the punctures and the hair, this little guy holds my heart in his paw.
Earlier in the season, he went to the veterinarian’s office for an annual check-up and his distemper shot. I had suspected that Aldie might be experiencing dental issues. He was leaving pieces of hard food, outside of his dish. They were half-chewed, half-moons. As my writing companion, he had no problem weaving around my laptop, but he did so with atrocious-smelling breath (no offense buddy).
My suspicions were confirmed after his check-up, when the vet said that Alderaan was in great health, except for having “severe” dental decay. As someone that had to have a dental evaluation prior to bone marrow transplant (because bad teeth can be a gateway for infection), I knew that I had to schedule this procedure for my beloved Aldie.
The result? He’s a kitten again!
He’s been playing with his toys, dragging them around. Alderaan has been more vocal—especially when he thinks dinner should be served. He is a gray streak racing alongside the second floor’s banisters.
He even raised a paw at Luna when she got in his face one morning (something he has never done before).
Although he has transformed into a spitfire, Alderaan still makes time for his more sedentary, favorite activities, like sitting in the kitchen window while I wash the dishes.
Luna and Berkley, too, are experiencing a renaissance of sorts.
Perhaps their new-found energy has its roots in their puppy play dates with Finnegan (read “Berkley Turns Three”, dated 7/27/2020, to meet our friend, Finnegan), but this 2 and 3-year-old are experiencing the zoomies again! Every night, around 5pm, they start racing around the house, playing rough and showing off their rather impressive canine teeth.
It’s all fun and games to them; to me, witnessing this vivacity is inspiring, and hopeful—maybe, someday, I’ll get some of my pre-transplant energy back?
I find inspiration in other places as well—specifically the great outdoors.
Prior to this year’s garden, I had the thumb of impending plant death. It has been both a surprise and a gift to actually grow vegetables and flowers!
As a child, I picked flowers. As an adult, I like to take pictures of them. I hope I never set this joy aside.
The Outdoor Art Club also gives me joy. Earlier in August, we visited St. Patrick’s Oratory and Mother Cabrini’s Shrine in Peru, NY.
I got lost on the way there, of course, but getting lost is half the adventure!
The oratory’s grounds were verdant—offering everything from fruit trees to yes, more flowers:
It wasn’t just the flowers that caught my attention. There was a walking trail through the woods, encouraging contemplation via a variety of spiritual icons:
The shrine, open to the outdoor air, was the perfect blend of nature and sanctuary.
To the left of Mother Cabrini’s shrine was a small, well-maintained field with the stations of the cross.
To the right of Mother Cabrini’s shrine, and sprawling behind the oratory, was a cemetery. Little known fact (or maybe it’s known) about me, is that I LOVE cemeteries. Funerary art is fascinating! The gravity and sanctity of a cemetery plot reminds me of just how fleeting life is and how very important it is to love and to live while we’re here.
Love, it seems, is the key to everything. How we act. How we speak. How we spend our time. Alderaan wasn’t in the kitchen window when I observed a robin feeding a youngster. I thought this scene was a bit odd, since this ‘youngster’ had functional wings, two legs and a beak that could clearly open. Its feathers were still marked with white spots, though, and this—this vulnerability reminded me of a passage I recently read in Deuteronomy 32:10-11.
In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
And carries them aloft.
– As written in the New International Version of the Holy Bible
This is God’s great love…and, yet, I can see it reflected in that mother robin’s dark eyes, too.
The summer seems to be passing us by. Crickets are chirping all day and all night now. There are red leaves on the lawn and in the little trees surrounding our porch.
There is a sadness in this. I try to remind myself that, as the garden starts to wilt, “everything has its season”. This is natural. This is life.
I deadhead my flowers, now, and tuck them away in the office to air-dry.
Later, when September arrives, I will savor a mug of hot apple cider and plan next summer’s garden.
Thank you, Dear Readers, for your presence here today. I hope the transition of seasons gives you time to reflect, smile with joy, and build future plans. Sending prayers, love and light your way.
With Love & Gratitude,