Good weekend — four-day visit with a long-time friend, hubby back from a trip, much good food and laughter — but still a worrisome time. Friend of a friend is in the hospital with unexplained seizures. Wife of one of my former Coast Guard sponsor “kids” has just been diagnosed with advanced (and previously undiagnosed) Lyme Disease and is in the hospital undergoing treatment. (Thank you, Johns Hopkins, for finding the answer to her dilemma.) Another long-time friend is in the hospital with a very serious infection. His wife is, understandably, frayed to the point of flying away in pieces.
As I pray for each and every one of them, it is not lost on me that I am blessed beyond measure not only for their presence in my life, but for oh-s0-many things. And I hope that in their trevails, they see their own blessings (however small they may seem) and acknowledge them.
Still, it’s hard to keep that stiff upper lip in the face of life’s challenges. It’s difficult to peer through the murk and find anything — even something miniscule — to find pleasure and peace in.
Ed and I went for a walk this afternoon after putting our guest on her train for New York City. Six-thirty-ish it was, dusk coming on, the sky going pink and purple with encroaching sunset. Met a stranger walking her elderly dog; stopped for a chat, learned about the dog’s life, saw a partnership that has endured. Made it to our turn-around spot and headed back. And about half-way along our return route we met Nettie walking on a lead with her owner.
Double-take. I’m not talking some dog. Nettie’s a calf. Don’t know what sort — brown is about all I can tell you. Might be Jersey, but I think she’s too dark for that, a beautiful deep coppery color. Those enormous eyes and square wet nose. Raspy tongue. Sweet disposition.
We talked for some time, she and I, we and her owner, before going our separate ways uplifted, the weight a little easier on our shoulders. One small crossing of paths, one tiny circumstance, a little coincidence in a long day. A miracle of life in a glossy coat and innocent face. A reminder to keep on keeping on. A reminder to look up, look around, appreciate.
“If you face the sun, the shadow falls behind you.”