I haven’t written here for a while.
My dog died and I couldn’t. I got the flu the day my dog died and it took a while for it to go away. Awita’s death came after the typhoon which haunted me. Both Bud and I published books. Mine came out around Halloween, his was ready for Thanksgiving. Writing books is better than anything we’ve ever done – aside from having our kids. There’s deep joy and a sense of both fulfillment and probably because we are at the midpoint of life – a feeling that we have left a good mark.
I’ve started the next book, and I have a novel that is still waiting for me to see a place. Well, all things pitch into the future, don’t they?
But my dog is dead and I think about things I did for sixteen years. I was a mother, a wife, a business partner, an eBay PowerSeller, a Harvard grad student studying journalism, an antique collector, a cook in my own house, a teacher, a NeuroPositive Life Coach, an author. I cooked meals and shopped and listened to children and launched children into adult lives. I heard stories and looked out my window as the seasons changed.
And in this small world of mine, brimming with family and cats there was a dog. We got her around Thanksgiving sixteen years ago. I came from a family where dogs did not live long. In the tropics, our dogs died fast. But Awita was healthy. She would run like the wind in the park across the street. She was bound to each of us with a cord of love. All of my children called her a “best friend”.
For sixteen years she was at my feet, following me around the house, waiting in the window, sleeping in the childrens’ beds like Goldilocks. And then she left us because she was old. Sixteen years went by in a blink.
My birthday came and went full of joy. Fifty seven is a nice number. It means I’ve seen life. I’ve earned the wrinkles, and I’m happy to say that my frown wrinkles are fewer than my smile wrinkles.
We are in the prelude to Christmas, a time of great anticipation. Houses are lit up with beautiful lights. Carols stream. We look forward to Christmas and I think I have a piece of advice for me, for you, for the whole world.
There are four phrases that come from the Hawaiian healing tradition of Ho’onoponopono. These could also be from the catechism.
1. I love you
2. I’m sorry
3. Please forgive me
4. Thank you.
These are phrases that I want to put at the forefront of my consciousness. They fit right in with my Positive Psychology training. They embody Love, Forgiveness, Gratitude.
There really isn’t room for anything else. Life is short, and the effects of our thoughts and words transfer from generation to generation.
Which brings me to another idea. Today while I was at the old post office in Fairhaven, Massachusetts- the sun was coming through the high windows, gilding the wood. I said, “Thank you for that sight.” Then I saw a flock of sea gulls swoop through the sky, the sun was hitting their wings turning them gold. I said, “Thank you for that.”
It occurred to me that a big part of life is thanking God and putting gratitude out into creation. It only got better. There were boats in the harbor, and the water was navy blue. As we went by the Whaling Museum the cupola was golden. All the beauty was on parade. “Thank you,” I thought, “Thank you for this.”
Then we all sat down for a family dinner. Five out of six children in attendance is a blessing. Thank you.
For everything, for every gift, for having a December birthday, for the love of that old dog, for the love of the cats who died this year, for the birds in the neighbors hedge, for my husband, for my children, for all this.
Thank you. I hope I fill a big piece of the sky with the ongoing thanks for every good thing. I hope you help me. If there is sorrow out there tipping the world, thanks will even it out again. I’m sure of it.
Thanks for reading. I know you are out there.