Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fall ... vibrant colors ... preparing to rest

Ishka (October, 2017)
The weather these past couple days here in Minnesota have been absolutely gorgeous. Fall colors. Vibrant. I have been going on hikes with Ishka. She has been amazing medicine for me on so many levels. My hikes with her give me a chance to connect with my spirit girl Ahnung. I always feel her presence strongly when I am hiking with Ishka. It also seems like Ishka draws the deer out from the woods, as yesterday we had many deer sightings. When Ishka pauses and looks into the woods I know there must be deer looking at us. She makes no attempt to go after them. They just gaze at each other. 

Ishka as a puppy (October, 2013)
I have been asking Ahnung to watch over Mister. To guide us in this final ride; to keep him as pain free as possible; to let me know when it is time to set his spirit free. It has been beautiful to watch how Ishka has been purposefully seeking to lay next to Mister. It's not something she has done on a regular basis (unlike how Mister and his sister Missy have been bonded for a decade). It's behavior out of the norm for Ishka and it has been happening with consistency .. in the mornings during meditation, and at bedtime. Mister's spirit have still been high; his appetite strong, and he still has that sparkle in his eye. His body, however, is struggling more. The cancer is spreading. Yesterday we added gabapentin to his pain meds and tomorrow he will have acupuncture again. As I hiked in the woods yesterday with Ishka I was thinking about how much I love fall. It is my favorite season. I love the sound of leaves rustling under my feet (and Ishka's paws). I love the vibrant colors. I love the smell of autumn. 
Mister and Ishka

Yesterday I was reflecting on the vibrant colors, and how soon, all the trees will be bare ... the leaves piled up ... soon, it will be winter, a time for hibernation for some animals, like squirrels. For the past couple months I have been watching the squirrels in our front yard gather walnuts from our tree and carrying them away to prepare for winter. I was reflecting on how Mister is doing the same. His spirits are still vibrant, like fall leaves ... yet I know, it won't be long, before it will also be time for my boy to rest. This time I know his rest will be a long, long rest. I know we all will have to rest some time; that we all will also leave this earth, this beautiful planet; that our spirits will be set free. Trees and animals don't resist the seasons. When an apple is ripe it simply falls from a tree -- it is time. Mister's time is coming. I know that. I honor that. It doesn't stop the hurt or the pain. Because I will miss him, and all his goofy ways of greeting me with a 'present' in his mouth (shoes, dog beds, blankets, if i am lucky, some times dog toys!) .. i will miss how he follows me around everywhere, from room to room; i will miss how he sleeps sprawled on his back, often partially on a bed, or comfortably on a coffee table; i will miss his joyful way of being ... I will miss having him keep me company in my morning meditations ...

And as my mind wandered in meditation this morning, I would tell myself to acknowledge the wandering, the worry and to simply return to the present moment. Some days, it is hard. This morning was one of those days -- my mind moved ahead, thinking of Mister ... moving to a place of grief and sadness. And then I heard Ahnung remind me to return to now, to this moment, that the greatest gift I can give to Mister is to be here, right now, with him. So with a deep breath, I returned to the moment, and i kept doing that over and over again.

I am grateful this morning for another day with Mister ... and to have him Mister, Ishka, Missy and Legacy keeping me company in meditation this morning.

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