Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

To Be Still March 29, 2015

The sky cried today. It was dreary and cold and windy outside. But none of that mattered, because there were no tears inside. There was only warmth and laughter and relaxation. Sleeeeeeep

The bad news is that had a lot to do with the fact that this illness that my dear forever mom has is spreading. Between dad’s sneezing and dear baby Carter’s coughing, all I can say is I’m pretty relieved things like this usually don’t pass to man’s four-legged friends.

The good news is it was a day to remember. I honestly can’t recall the last time I watched as all of my dearest people spent the day together in their pajamas. It didn’t matter that the sky was crying and it was cold and dreary outside.

Inside there was playing and resting and playing some more. There was snuggling and cuddling. There was joy, from the ground up.

Yes, there was also sneezing and coughing. And yes, no one is feeling 100 percent. But today, as I snuggled into a spot much too small for me next to mom and dad and Carter on the couch, I realized how important these days are to have every now and then.

It doesn’t necessarily need to happen in pajamas, but there was something nice (and cozy) about the fact that it did. As a (somewhat professional) observer of people, I can say with some authority that today was necessary regardless of the coughs and sneezes.

The reasons are different for everyone. Around here, it’s been all things baby No. 2 lately, with endless errands to stockpile things like diapers and make sure the nursery is just as it should be. Weekend respite from the daily grind doesn’t always happen like it should between nap times, at least not with groceries to buy and cleaning and laundry to be done. Rat race takes on a whole new meaning when there’s a new little person on the way.

So what happened today was special. Sometimes you really do just need to be still. To be together.

Days like today are not only good for their health. Days like today are good for their hearts.

 

 

Falling From The Sky July 29, 2014

It’s normally not one of my favorite things when the sky cries. It happens a lot around here in the springtime, and (at least this year) pretty frequently in the summertime. The summertime storms are not my favorite, with their loud crashing sounds but I deal all right compared to a lot of the stories I’ve heard about fellow four-leggers. To be honest, it is definitely one of few things I am in denial about there being a silver lining. All right, I suppose there are some benefits (like the plants flourishing, for example). But in general, rain does not bring good things in my opinion.Heavenly Reflections

At least that’s what I thought until tonight. I went outside to keep mom company as she refilled the bird feeders that now scatter through my backyard paradise when it happened. The smell. If you’ve ever stood outside a few moments before a spring or summer rain, you know what I’m talking about. It is a distinct and indescribable scent that somehow uplifts and restores the soul. I can’t explain it.

Mom smelled it too, because she seemed somehow to be floating through the yard as she busied herself with the feeders. Meanwhile, I sat back watching as fireflies danced and a cool wind blew through my fur. It was a pretty perfect moment.

I find these happening from time to time. Moments with raindrops and fireflies that somehow bring joy to everyone there to witness them. In this (albeit rare) case, I was happy to welcome in the rain that continues to pitter patter on the windowsills as I write. In this case I find it soothing, comforting and refreshing. Like most things, I know it’s all a matter of perspective. Maybe God knew I needed a reminder of that tonight so he brought to life a thought by English writer and philosopher Gilbert Chesterson.

“When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down,” Chesterson suggested. “Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”

 

 

A Deconstructed Ocean May 2, 2013

One person’s nonsense is another person’s art. I realized that today as I powered through the puddles in my backyard in a mad dash to catch the group of rabbits who seemed to be throwing some sort of pool party. Silly rabbits, I thought to myself, I’m going to get you! But as they scattered to their hiding places in the corners of the yard I felt the slightest bit of guilt for breaking up their fun.

I don’t usually have feelings of remorse in situations like this, so it definitely took me by surprise. We’ve all been like those rabbits at some point or another, I realized as I sloshed back through the lake that seemed to appear in the backyard in a matter of minutes. (The sky is not crying today. It’s bawling.)

Playing With WordsI remember a time when water turned me into a thoughtless nincompoop too. Not too long after my forever parents adopted me, they took me aboard something I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around. One minute we were enjoying a beautiful car ride, and the next minute there we were, the three of us, on what they called a boat. I couldn’t believe my little doggie eyes. The water was dazzling. The sunlight sparkled off each and every little peak in the water in the most breathtakingly fabulous way. I had to get closer – I had to feel the magic! Once, twice, three times, I jumped off the boat into the water for no other reason than that I was mesmerized by its beauty.

In retrospect, that probably wasn’t the best plan of action as that was my one and only experience on the boat with them. I also better understand now why the two people I love most in the whole world yelled at me like they did that day. I’m not the best swimmer (I can’t manage to keep my backside from sliding down behind me), and they were both fearing the worst.

Gratefully, the worst is far from what happened. Instead, I took with me the image of all those beautiful diamonds glittering on the water. The lake in the backyard looks nothing like my ocean memory, but a metaphor came to life in my heart today as I considered the fun those rabbits were having before I crashed the party.

Words are like water to me. I haven’t always liked how they make me feel, but I need them to survive. They can bring the worst, but they can sparkle in such a mesmerizing way it takes my breath away. And they’re so darned fun to play with (which must be why those rabbits were throwing that silly pool party in the puddles). I did an experiment today that brought poetry to life with the most interesting combination of articles, adjectives and nouns. I asked some of the people in my life put together a mad lib of sorts today without really knowing it. The result? A fluffy tree sings to an affectionate Tiger licking Pumpernickel bread. I don’t care if I sound like those rabbits looked at their pool party in the rain. This nonsense is artwork to me.

 

Living in the Moment May 1, 2013

I realized today I have done a fair share of blogging about the weather. I’m not even sure how riveting a dog’s thoughts on the weather are, but (spoiler alert!) I’m about to do it again.

It began with a special moment I had with my mom in the snow. Then there was more snow. And more cold. And rain, my goodness, have we had rain. While some of it has been positive, I will admit to complaining (in the best way I know how) in some of my commentary as well.Smelling the Roses It wasn’t that long ago I asked the world where art thou spring?

I finally have my answer. Spring is here. Well, actually summer is here early, and probably not for long. Today is the second day in a row of unseasonably warm weather. Given my outspoken longing for warmth throughout the majority of what technically should be considered spring in Wisconsin, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring attention to the beauty around me the last couple of days. All of the snow is melted and all of the rain has left behind it a sea of color. Trees and grass are so brilliantly green they are almost blinding. Magnolia trees (which usually bloom in this area right around Easter) are finally bearing their beautiful pink and white flowers and daffodils, lilies and tulips seemed to shoot out of the ground and flower overnight.

The world around me is a piece of art right now and I am soaking it all in. (Especially since the weather forecast for the next couple of days brings our temperatures back down into the 30s and 40s). The wait has proven worthwhile, but the resulting beauty has become a study of something I find all too frequently in our society.

How true it is that is can be so much easier to pine and long and lust after what we don’t have than it is to soak up what we do? “Forever is composed of nows,” as American poet Emily Dickenson put it.

I spent all that time praying for spring to finally come and yet I almost didn’t stop and take notice when it did. Now that it’s here I realized it’s one thing to live in the moment, but sometimes that is exactly when we should stop and appreciate the brilliance of what that moment has to offer. Most likely, it offers joy from the ground up. Musings and commentary on the weather aside, that is what it is all about for me.

 

Us Against The World April 11, 2013

The sky is crying today. Teardrops from heaven have been pouring down on and off all week, in fact. I’d say I do pretty well with the whole lightning Smiling Some Sunshineand thunder bit compared to most dogs I’ve met. But I’m not going to lie: this soppy cold mess of a weather pattern is downright dreary.

It has been raining constantly since Monday, and the forecast calls for more of the same all of next week. I told myself I wouldn’t comment on the weather again after my recent rant about what an awful weather person I would be, but I digress. This is some kind of awful that needs to be talked about. I can honestly say that I cursed under my little doggie breath when mom let me outside this morning into the frigid rainy wind that has been outside the last several days.

It actually reminds me a bit of a Coldplay song. “And if we could float away, fly up to the surface and just start again, and lift off before trouble erodes us in the rain…Through chaos as it swirls, it’s us against the world.”

Indeed, it is us against the world on days like today. Mom came home looking a mess, complete with frizzy hair and soaking wet pant bottoms. I could tell she was freezing cold and frustrated by whatever problems she had encountered today. I know it’s harder to keep your head up when there’s nothing pretty to look at, so I can only imagine all these dreary days are taking a toll on her and my dad. What’s worse is knowing that as certain as the rain falling from the sky is the toll its taking on everyone who is experiencing the dreariness that is this weather situation. As one who strives to share joy with the world, I would be lying if I said these days weren’t a serious challenge to even my resolve.

But then I remember something very important. It’s us against the world on days like these. So the sky is crying, and it’s not stopping any time soon. It is gray and dingy outside, but that does not stop me from finding my silver lining. Dreary or otherwise, I find inspiration in the sky. And when it withholds sunshine, I make my own.

 

Love Play Live: Lighting Up Darkness January 18, 2013

Have you ever tried to piece a puzzle together without the box? I’ve been trying that lately with Simple Abundance. I was worried that I was going to start sounding repetitive with the whole gratitude in simplicity storyline and folks would get disinterested. But I did not disregard my daily commitment to reading Simple Abundance, whether or not I made it a main focus of my blogger thoughts this week. I do wonder if that hasn’t had a negative influence on my weeklong reflections…I hope not, but I welcome any and all feedback on the matter.

What I know is that today’s Simple Abundance challenge struck a special chord with me. Living in Wisconsin, a state that gets cold and snowy and the hours of sunlight are at an extreme shortage this time of year, the concept of light amidst the darkness speaks to me.

“Outside, winter’s darkness closes in,” Breathnach writes. “Inside, you have found your own light.” We find light in the little things that may seem otherwise insignificant throughout the day, like that special treat mom gives me before she goes back to work after lunch, or that bowl of peas dad gives me after he and mom share a yummy Friday night steak dinner.Light Amidst Darkness

So again I enjoy today’s daily prompt in coordination with my daily journey toward comfort and joy:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/daily-prompt-free-association/

Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say . . .

. . . home.

. . . soil.

. . . rain.

Use those words in the title of your post.

Love play live. When I think of home, soil, and rain, those are the first three words that come to mind for me.

…home = love: Mom, this one’s for you. We both love Phillip Phillips, but when I hear his lyrics to “Home,” I think of what you and dad did for me when you brought me home from the humane society. I picture these words coming from you, which fills my heart with so much love there really are no words to explain my thankfulness. Except for those set to beautiful chords by Mr. Phillips himself:

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They  fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down love
If you get lost,  you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going  to make this place your home.”

…soil = play: Dad, this one’s for you. All those times you we play around in the backyard when you don’t think mom is looking…those are some of my most favorite moments. I know sometimes I make a mess of the yard, and then I track dirt into the house, but you love me nonetheless. And I know you didn’t consider yourself a “dog person” before we met, so our quiet moments together without anyone else mean that much more to me. I love you, dad.

…rain = life: This one’s for my family. I know what its like to seek shelter in the rain without a warm, loving home. I would prefer not to sleep under a stinky green garbage unit ever again. Yet somehow rain is a reminder that I probably will never have to.  Because I have home and soil, I am thankful for rain. I greet the reminder of my blessings in life.

Inside, I have found my light.