The deck on the back of our house is quite roomy. It’s also about four feet above the ground. Lately, I’ve noticed that this is an ideal “perch” for my newly-acquired dog and from which she can survey her surroundings. The higher perspective allows Zelda to be discerning as to any expenditure of energy (racing to the fence line) and how much communication (AKA barking) she needs to do. It also provides a lesson for me. A higher perspective has a purpose.
Each day, in the cool morning hours, this protective dog reluctantly leaves my side to go outside and lie down on the deck at the top of the stairs. She is undisturbed as the hummingbirds feed above her head. Robins and other urban birds come and go across our landscape, pulling worms from the ground, drinking from the birdbath, or robbing fruit from the bushes and trees. The flowers bloom and buzz with bees. The wind rustles the leaves on trees. The sun begins to stretch its rays across the grass and rocks. Zelda is queen of her domain and this is the beginning of a new day. She faithfully pauses for these few moments to connect to nature and re-establish her place in the world. This ritual has a purpose.
Zelda is content to share this space with small, winged creatures. However, four-legged mammals and non-family humans are not so welcome. She is vigilant about keeping the yard free of roaming squirrels and rabbits, too. She warns the neighborhood kids and other dogs not to walk too closely to our fence as they travel the path behind our property. Watchful vigilance has a purpose. The fence protects them from her territorial nature as much as it provides a safe place for her to explore. Fences have a purpose.
Through this small, furry creature I am reminded each day – first and foremost – to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the wonder of Life surrounding me and expressed so abundantly in Nature. I know it is my privilege and responsibility to share blessings and gifts with others…whether it’s making a financial donation, offering a smile, or sharing conversation over a cup of coffee. It is also important to know what one’s boundaries are, as well as limits set by others, and to honor them. In addition, I see the value in balance…perhaps being busy, running around doing my business, maybe even shouting (barking) to others about things that need to be done…and then off-setting that with periods of rest and contemplation.
Mostly, I treasure the lesson of holding a higher perspective of Life. Yes, Life has challenges. But I don’t need to have all the answers in every moment; I just need to trust that God does. When I consistently focus on the Highest Good for all involved, on the simplicity and joy of Life, and on basic Universal Principles applied to all my affairs, my life expresses fully and in absolute grace. I know what to do and when to do it. The details fall into place naturally, easily. I can relax my impulsive defenses and rest assured that all is well. Everything I truly desire is already mine!