Every day, multiple times a day, I give thanks. I am thankful for where I live. There is beauty all around me, in the small details, like the moss underfoot, and there in the larger landscape, like the pink sky at night. I share my days with intelligent and loving people. My animals keep me in the present, and remind me to enjoy the journey.
The last two years have been filled with the miracle of hearing. My two cochlear implants have returned to me not just the ease of conversation, but also the minute details of life, only apparent through this sense – a dog’s pant, a twig snap, the tick of my wristwatch. The sounds of birds in the trees have become birdsong. A running stream is musical. Every day I give thanks to the long line of researchers and scientists and doctors who have made this possible.
I know that on this planet, I am one of the lucky ones, here, today, with my wealth and my freedom, my ability to make choices, and the wherewithal to make them reality, I do not take any of it for granted.
The underlying tenet of the type of animal training that I do is that although you keep in mind a large goal, you get there by breaking it down into small steps, each one carefully built on the one before. Do you want your dog to come? Before you ask your dog to move to you, what do you need? Think about it. She needs to look at you. Reward the glance, and then the focus, and then, finally, the movement to you. First it will be a slow trot, and at last there will be that all-out, pell-mell joy of the fast recall. Although this sounds like a tedious and lengthy way of doing things, it actually progresses amazingly fast. Be aware of, and reward, the seemingly minor moments. Ignore what isn’t right. Soon you will have achieved your objective. This is how I try to go about my days. I have my large goals, but I celebrate the very small steps needed to get there. And so I am most grateful to you, my readers. I could be writing about matters of political and societal importance. Certainly I think about those things. But, you give me an excuse to take the time to focus on seemingly inconsequential events – a hen’s molt, the last carrots from the garden, the baking of a pie. My daily blog is a place in which I can pay attention to those moments of grace, Like the animal training that I do, when the focus is on the small positive steps, the better the whole becomes.
Have a most wonderful day.