This winter has been a bit strange. We haven’t had a ton of snow, but most of the snow we have had has been followed, almost immediately, by rain. And that kind of stinks. It means not a lot of sledding or snowman building. The trees don’t remain glistening in a winter wonderland. My lawn, instead of being blanketed in solid white snow cover, becomes mushy, wet, miserable and MUDDY. And the only thing worse than a mushy, wet, muddy lawn are the eight feet that romp and play and roll in it before they decide to come in and leave it all over the floors of my house! My life has been reduced to an endless wipedown of muddy paws. Round and round we go. Penny and Lilly go out… they have their walk… they come in…. I wipe paw 1-2-3-4 then 5-6-7-8. They eat their breakfast. It’s time to take the kids to the bus, so we go out again… we sneak in a ball throw for 5 minutes… we come in… I wipe paw 1-2-3-4 then 5-6-7-8. They take their morning snooze. Then before we know it, out once more, this time, for a hike. We come back an hour later. I wipe paw 1-2-3-4 then 5-6-7-8. And so on and so forth throughout the day.
It’s a moments like these when I turn to those of higher thinking for an answer to why all the mud? Why all the wiping? Has it all really come down to this? To quote Thich Nhat Hanh on a similar seemingly monotonous and meaningless task:
While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At ﬁrst, glance, that might seem a little silly. Why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I am completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There’s no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves. – The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh.
I suppose I, too, am completely myself. As are Penny and Lilly. Happily, joyfully, muddily doing what we do and generally grateful to have each other and to be doing it together. So in full appreciation of this “wondrous reality”, I will mindfully continue to wipe paws. And wipe and wipe and wipe.
Perhaps I should be quoting the Karate Kid instead- Wash on.... wash off my little pups. Summer will be here soon.