Though we do our best to stay strong and keep going, it’s often the moments we’re forced to stop that introduce us to the aspects of life that matter. This reflection comes from a moment of caring for our dog, Mira.
Our dear dog Mira has an eye infection and so each day for a week, three times a day, we take turns, calling her to the kitchen where she sits against the cabinet as we hold a warm compress to her sore eye. Today, it’s my turn. The sun is just rising and I’m on my knees, holding her head, as she looks up at me with her other eye. This is what ailments do: they bring us to our knees where we can hold each other’s head and finally, in the quiet before the day begins, we can look into each other’s one good eye, close enough to hear each other breathing. Now I feel compassion rise in me like a very light bird lifting to flutter in my throat. I think it wants to fly in the world, I want it to, but it hovers there, keeping everything connected, as if fluttering in our throats is its home.
A Question to Walk With: Describe the last time some ailment caused you to pause and look in the eye of another. What did you learn from this?