When I sleeps, I sleeps

sleeping cat

My cat Foxy can sleep anywhere. I, who must have darkness, a comfy bed, and absolute quiet, am very envious!

I read the statistics about what sleep deprivation does to us as a nation. I’m convinced if we each got fifteen more minutes of sleep a day, the world would be a better place.

I sometimes compromise with a good, satisfying afternoon nap. Foxy, being a creature of habit and a practical soul at heart, often deigns to joins me.

The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.
~Leonard Cohen~

 

A cat is a cat, and that is that

Cat in sink

Leaf is a BIG cat, and barely fits into this bathroom sink.

But Leaf is also an intelligent cat. He knows after a meal, I’ll come here to brush my teeth, so he dashes into the bathroom and curls up here. He understands he’ll get scritches and soft words to coax him to leave.

His Momma didn’t raise any dumb kittens!

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.
~Joseph Wood Krutch~

 

The Cat Magician

cat in a bowl

The platter was small. The ceramic was hard and unbalanced. But my friend, Mackie, knew this bowl would make a perfect nest.

Who cared if it was hard? He has enough fur to line it himself. Who cared if it was tippy? A mere walk in the park for a determined cat with four sure feet and a balancing, furry tail.

Sometimes the nest adapts to us, and sometimes we adapt to the nest!

~Let’s begin by taking a smallish nap or two.~
~Winnie-the-Pooh~

The kittens and the sunflowers

Picture of kittens in the sunshine

It was a western facing window in the afternoon. You can tell that by the sunflowers turning their faces toward the sun just as little Ellf was. Mac, on the other hand, was staring drowsily at the photographer, me. The two found comfort in the warm sun and in the closeness of each other. That was all they needed.

Perhaps we look too hard for happiness. Content lies often in those things the closest to our heart. Warmth, companionship, flowers, and…kittens!

It’s good to be just plain happy; it’s a little better to know that you’re happy; but to understand that you’re happy and to know why and how…to be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss.
~Henry Miller~

Savor the weekend moments

firs and vista at Snow BowlEach day comes bearing its own gifts.
Untie the ribbons.
~Ruth Ann Schabacker

 

Because my weekdays are filled with to-do lists and have-to’s, I cultivate a sense of slowing down on the weekends. The walks I take are longer. The pauses to talk to my cats are more frequent. I smell the air like a wild animal, not sure what the day will bring. It is a time of coming alive again, of thinking different thoughts, of letting my mind roam where it will.

In a way, I become a different person, a weekend person, looking for balloons flying high in the sky, listening for children’s laughter, and anticipating the smell of good coffee as I enter a cafe.

We all have the ability to look closer: when we do, our world becomes a richer place.

 

All kinds of mothering

lilac bouquetI am reminded that there is both joy and sorrow in Mother’s Day. Joy, for the present family connections. Sorrow and regret for mothers who are no longer with us.

But it also occurs to me that the primary attributes that we celebrate in mothers: care taking, love, empathy for others, are present in all of us, whether we are women or men, biological mothers or not.

For example, we are mothering when we take care of, and love the tools of our trade. I am reminded of my father, a carpenter and gardener, whose day in the shop or in the field wasn’t complete until all tools were cleaned of mud and grit, polished, and put back where they belonged. That way, he was able to lay a hand on them instantly the next time they were needed. His favorite phrase was, “Take care of the things that take care of you.” He was right!

We take care of and love, other living beings. It goes without saying that I spoil both of my fur babies rotten. They are talked to, coddled, and given the best places to sleep in the bed and on the couch. I, in turn, rearrange myself in the left-over space around them.

But care and attention also extends to the cats next door. One is a gray puss with big eyes, an outside cat with human-parents who sometimes leave for days at a time for work in another town. She’s learned that there’s a fresh water dish and food at my house, at the ready for her in a sheltered area. Her buddy, an orange Tom with a chewed ear, has found a home-away-from-home with two little girls across the street.

We love and take care of both our own children, and others. Watch what happens when a small child gets lost and separated from parents in a large store. Some adult will step up and make sure the child is delivered to the front of the store where a loud-speaker announcement soon ensues, to locate the frantic parents.

We love and take care of total strangers. Once when I was rear-ended on a busy street, I was helped from the car by the guy that hit me! And then strangers were dialing immediately for EMTs. Three burly guys pushed my car out of the traffic lane. We do these things, instinctively.

Where we fall down, sometimes, is closer to home. I am of the opinion that we don’t love and take care of ourselves enough. Sometimes I forget it is a partnership and not a dictatorship from the neck downward.

When I am mindful, I eat what my microbiome needs for nutrition and energy. I exercise, even when I don’t “feel” like it, so that my body gets the stretching and movement that it needs.

But often, when I flub up on a risk that I’ve taken or a venture that’s gone sour, instead of being compassionate with my humanness, I berate and judge myself in the worst possible derogatory terms. I am merciless with my scorn and derision for the failure.

I wonder, why I do this to myself?

Why can’t we be as mothering to ourselves as we are to others?

It’s something I’m working on, especially this very special of days, Mother’s Day.