My day was unfolding as usual. Nothing especially different going on, but for some reason, everything felt special and unique. I sat on the back porch, sipping on a cup of coffee, listening to the chirps of birds awakening to a new day, the sounds of one, then two, then several dogs joining together in a cacophony of barking, squirrels high in the trees chattering to one another, a tree branch brushing with a shushing sound against another nearby tree branch. Soundlessly, clouds in the brightening sky bumped against each other, changing shapes spontaneously, creating a smooth symphony of art. And so it went, nature communicating with itself, embracing changes, without resistance. It occurred to me that it is what it is.
My collie lay at my feet, his ears perking upright, his eyes shifting to and fro at the noises around him, at the sky, then to me. “Did you hear that?” he seemed to ask with his eyes. “Did you see that?” he winked. I wondered what he heard and what he saw, that I did not. He seemed to be present, in each moment, then leave it behind quickly, as he moved on to the next. He is my Zen master. He teaches me, reminds me, to be present. Always present. “Here and now are all that is,” his eyes tell me. Then he nods off to sleep.
At once, the sensation of my body changed. It was as if my whole body expanded to the most huge of huge things, and at the same time, my body felt smaller than the pinpoint of the smallest pin. I was infinitely huge and the smallest, small imaginable, simultaneously. There were no other sensations. Sounds and vision, taste and smell, were gone. Only the sense of being remained. Vaguely, it was a sense of touch, but more than that. I felt a rush of something indescribable, moving from my center, outward, toward my feet, my head, my limbs.
The moment passed, and I looked at my collie, now peering from beneath his open eyelids up at me. His ears perked again as I patted his soft head gently. He grinned. He stood and nuzzled his snout against my body, sniffing, sniffing, sniffing me, from head to toe. He brushed his wet nose against my face, then turned circles on the patio, and lay down again at my feet.
The sights and sounds returned. The taste and smell of my coffee tickled my tongue and nose. I felt in awe. My collie peered up at me again, through half-closed eyes. “What did you expect?” he seemed to ask. Then he closed his eyes and slept.
©Janet Mitchell, April 2012