Startled the daylights (even though it was still dark) out of a neighbor, a personal trainer, by shouting out a cheery HULLO! as he got into his car, heading out to his first client. He would have been way more startled if he knew who was by my side. My own personal trainer.
Rennie, our medium long-hair marmalade, a wondrous cat whose unexpected parting in February we will always grieve. A ghost cat cum walking meditation coach.
Yep, decided to make a meditation practice out of my morning amble. About to open the front door, I automatically did what both John & I will probably do to the end of our own days – checked to make sure our handsome, fox-like cat was not primed to shoot out into the great outdoors. Was surprised by a sense of his presence, slipping out the door with me. But not making a wild bolt for the front yard for a leisurely nibble of grass. He stayed with me. As I made my way up Pheasant Run, crossed over on Quail, down Mallard to & Sandpiper & back up Pheasant Run to hearth & home, he was by my side. If my mind wandered, I’d look down to empty space, imagine a strong-willed cat telling his 2-Leg, “Focus on your breath.”
A ghost cat turned personal meditation coach makes as much sense as anything these days. Something I’ve learned over the past sixteen years, especially over the past four & intensely over the past two is to welcome the unexpected. “Plan to be surprised.” When a ghost cat by your side, just accept it – and pay heed to his reminders. When it’s no big deal that I get up at 5:15 a.m. with ease & anticipation, I’ve to just accept it. When I feel like the day has been frittered because only got four key things got done – when a year ago I was doing zip – I just accept it.
And am grateful. Grateful that I wasn’t raised to think of life as a time schedule & that if something wasn’t accomplished by this age or that, it wasn’t going to happen.
My expectations on graduating from college was that I’d spend my life as an educator – I spent eleven years in teaching, five at a private school & six at a school for at-risk students where the warning was, “I’m going to call your parole officer,” not a parent. My job at Prudential was supposed to be “cradle to grave,” one that was secure to my retirement party – or until AETNA acquired Prudential HealthCare in 1997.
I am grateful for all of it & the rest of the upheavals that turned out to be blessings, lessons, unexpected new sections on a wondrous path forward.
It’s 6:20 a.m. & John’s about to walk in the door with breakfast, so adios my friends. Have a great day! Back to ya later. And if you see a ghostly medium long-hair marmalade kitty by you side, look down as he glances up, smile & walk on, clear your mind & focus on your breathing.