Bessie Anne is the most accident prone dog I've ever known. Dr. Ric, our veterinarian, and Bess are well acquainted. It seems to be a law of nature that emergency situations only arise on weekends when vet fees are doubled, so when Bessie was nonweight-bearing on a hind leg on Saturday, I took a wait-and-see attitude. I keep a supply of doggy painkillers on hand and made her as comfortable as possible, hoping it was just a strained muscle and not a fracture or worse. A day of bed rest and some good dope did the trick and she was up and about without a limp yesterday.
Twenty-four hours of house arrest made both of us anxious to get outside in the afternoon; I'm a firm believer in the restorative powers of sunshine. Accompanied by Pearl, who goes everywhere with us now, we went out to the front yard. There are granite boulders by the drive that are just the right size to sit upon and contemplate. (My granddaughter called them her Thinking Rocks.) Bess soaked up the warmth and Pearl shared her attentions, rubbing up on me and then jumping down to purr and rub on Bessie. Pearl does a great impression of a catfish, flopping on her side and flipping back and forth on the ground, and she put on quite a show for us. It struck me that I had just opened a gift of time. I had nowhere to go and nothing to do but enjoy this particular moment. A few marshmallow puffs of cloud played tag in the sky. Wind through the drying leaves sounded almost like falling rain. A large murder of crows, more than fifty, gathered in the oak over the sheds, using their "indoor voices" to discuss matters of importance. Instead of raucous cawing, they use a low, guttural, almost growling sound when the committee meets. Periodically, groups of eight or ten would fly up in a burst of enthusiasm and put on an exhibition of aerial acrobatics, swooping, diving, chasing, before settling back on the branches.
Life seems to be on fast-forward these days for so many, with few opportunities to "just sit one out." Doing nothing, in my mind, is not a waste. When the chances come, these gifts of time should be opened slowly, savored and appreciated fully. They pass quickly and one never knows when the next one will come.