"Where do you want to be?" she asked. The veterinarian, who has become my friend, was here to release my old, beloved, little dog from her pain and the discomfort of a large, inoperable, abdominal tumor. My mind slowly numbing, I clutched at the reality that would allow me to bear the next few minutes well, and we went to the front porch. How many times, in how many seasons, have Mollie and I sat on that porch, soaking in the life around us?
These last few days, the tinkling begging calls of goldfinch young and the combative whizzing of hummingbirds have been the audible indicators that summer is waning. Through the open windows, I hear the reminders from early morning until after sunset, so eager are they to take in the nourishment they need to forge ahead into the next stages of their lives. Though Mollie could no longer hear, she watched their comings and goings so closely that I half-feared for the fate of any hummingbirds who swooped down too fearlessly, in their quest to figure out what she was.
As the three of us sat quietly together, I was filled with gratitude for life itself. For the life of Mollie, for the life of my friend, for the life of the wild ones that surrounded and comforted us, for my own life, and for the life of the Spirit who was so near and present with us. The ancient Christian Celts believed that when God created the world, He did not create it out of nothing, but created it out of Himself and, as a result, they, and I, believe that He has mysteriously left bits of Himself, in all that is. Bits of Himself that connected Mollie and I to each other, during those last moments. Bits that connect me to the wild creatures and to the sources of nourishment that support them.
Though deeply saddened at Mollie's passing, I know that in loving her, and in caring for and delighting in so many lives in this world...those of people, of wild and domestic animals, of birds and insects, of trees and forbs, I have grown and I have been deepened, through no effort of my own, other than the loving. May it be so for you.