Grateful heart

Today has been one long promise of a walk, "later." A surprisingly calm promise with full intention to follow through, lacking the normal guilt that lurks around if we miss a morning walk. Maybe it's the on-again-off-again rain that prolongs my equilibrium even as it disrupts opportunities for a walk.

After dinner and a particularly dreary show about current political events I turn to Vlad: "It's time." Three blocks later we're consumed in a steady drizzle. Whenever we pause under a thick canopy I pull out my iPad and tap out heavy thoughts until the screen is covered in rain drops and I tuck the device up under my fleece to walk again. Thoughts pour out as we walk in the same way the rain pours from above and eventually the thoughts are expressed and there are no more. Still rain, though. We're mostly soaked. It's a nourishing experience and over the two, three miles I sense Vlad's contentment rising like mercury in a thermometer. What a gift it is to be included in his experience!

Back at home I pause before mobilizing for a shower; I give thanks to rain, to nature, to things just as they are, and to my willingness to pay attention to it all. I take out incense spontaneously, place it on a cushion, and do three prostrations in gratitude.

The incense fills the empty room and Vlad makes his way to the spot I left, in the middle of the floor where he is active and playful but never relaxed. Tonight, he makes his own prostration and drifts to sleep in the tender, trusting manner of a child, with his head propped comfortably on the cushion. Perhaps he is giving thanks of his own.