Annie and Muji are now a team.
I rise to the surface, leaving behind strands of dream images, and burst through into the pre-dawn light and cool coastal breeze coming in the window next to our bed. Annie, our newly adopted miniature schnauzer, has squeezed her way between Nancy and I. Muji, our aged miniature schnauzer, sleeps in a curl at our feet. Nancy breathes quietly, a back-beat to Muji’s snoring.
I’m brightly awake in this stillpoint, this moment when the ups and downs of daily life pause before changing direction. The fingers of my mind move smoothly over the inner Braille of my psyche and find: contentment, peace of mind.
Images arrive, a sampling of pictures of the family since Annie’s arrival: Annie crowding in when we pay attention to Muji, Annie’s gazelle leaps over logs at the beach, Nancy holding Annie-the-love-sponge like a baby. A progression of pictures that depict us letting Annie in, and Annie beginning to drop her insecurity and allow herself to be here. We are all unclenching a profound fist.
Annie and Muji have sorted out their dominance issues and operate with greater ease. They now double-team us for treats, walks, and mealtime reminders: Annie wags her tail and croons, while Muji tap dances in a circle. I replay this image with delight.
I now see further into the contentment that all of our natural willingness has brought into focus. It is not solely elegant creature comfort, as blissful as that is. It is the contentment of sitting in our natural and true sitting place. It is the contentment of being-with all that is arising in and around us, in this moment, as it is, in its exquisite particularity.
Annie begins stirring next to me. Her legs twitch and she barks a muffled bark deep in her throat. I’m guessing she’s dreaming of playing with the other dogs at the beach, but who knows? I do know, however, that – as this dawn brightens and the great piston of life begins to move into day – there will be continued adjustments in our lives, times of needed discipline and training for us all, and difficult times undoubtedly. And I see the possibility that all those circumstances arise within the same fundamental contentment as is here with this warm snuggle of a well-nested family.