Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Me Oh My It’s A Fly August 18, 2014

It happens pretty frequently this time of year. The weather is nice enough to have the windows open to let fresh air into the house. My forever people are spending more time outdoors. As am I for that matter. But there is this one thing that really (really) gets to me about this time of year. Flies. It’s one thing when they’re outside where they belong, but when they get into the house it sends me into a tail spin. Literally.

Hello.

It always starts the same way, with my heart racing and tail wagging as I think I can catch the intruder. Then it happens. I’m not sure what or why this thing in my little doggie brain switches on, but I know it all to well. Fearlessness. From the ground up, let’s just say it’s not my strong suit. Instead I go from master of the animal kingdom within my forever home to a skittish, frightened version of myself I am embarrassed to admit exists.

I can’t explain it. It’s like everything inside me freezes and all I want to do is hide in places that apparently seem silly to my people for some unknown reason. My choice of today’s hiding place, in a small space between the couch and an end table where I would never ordinarily hang out, evoked the strangest response from my people. All three of them reacted in their own unique way, Carter by trying to climb me and my people by a round of uproarious laughter. I certainly did not intend to become a side show in my little game of hide and seek with the intruder. But that didn’t matter because somehow my reaction brought joy to my people.

I found peace and contentment in those moments, though I suppose maybe I should have been insulted. As for the fly, he’s still buzzing around here somewhere. And for not that’s okay, because at least for now, he serves as a teeny tiny reminder to find silliness in the most unexpected of places.

 

Shadow of Joy December 15, 2013

It startled me at first. There I was in my snowy backyard paradise when I saw the strangest yet most beautiful thing. It was so big it made me feel small, which was somewhat intimidating in a space I consider my own. But tonight the yard was not mine. It was the tree’s.

My favorite tree was casting the most dignified shadow across the majority of the yard. Once I got over my initial inner battle with something else ruling my space, I paused to appreciate the image before me. A clear sky shed it’s full moonlight on the yard, resulting in this statement of majesty that somehow remained mysterious.

It certainly put me in my place. And it got me to thinking about the shadows we cast in life. It starts with the light necessary to create such a thing. My light comes from the joy I find in people, places and things around me. It also comes from my heart. The combination of these internal and external stimuli create a unique balance of the light necessary for my shadow to appear.
My Shadow Self
Unfortunately that is where things can get complicated if we let them. By nature a shadow is larger than the object it reflects. While it is indeed magnificent, the tree in my backyard certainly isn’t actually as big as the entirety of the yard. But its shadow is.

And it can be startling at first. It can seem both strange and beautiful at the same time. But it makes a statement. I realized as I stood there basking in the glow of this shadow that I want to make a statement like this in my life.

“Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see,” as Martin Luther King Jr. suggested.

I think I figured it out. I’ve been going about things all wrong. I don’t need to be so concerned with finding joy in the people, places and things around me. That will take care of itself. Instead I should focus on the shadow that joy of mine casts on the world around me.

It doesn’t matter that I weigh 20 pounds. Size doesn’t matter when it comes to shadows. Because our shadows can be as big as we want them to be.