I love to walk through the wooded areas near my house with my dog Finn. Today I came home after being away and the afternoon was warm enough to invite a walk. Finn is a golden retriever and if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t come out of my cozy warm haven here. But today the sun was still shining and I felt the need to move.
There is a small road that weaves its way through some wooded areas leading out to a main road. It always feels like a heavenly tunnel with its woodsy smells and gnarled trees and wild, overgrown weeds. Yes, there is pavement here as cars take this road into our little community. Nevertheless, it is a line of demarcation. It says, you are now here, you are now home.
Today as we were peacefully strolling on this road, Finn stopped abruptly with an intense gaze towards the top of the road. I hadn’t noticed the movement, caught in my own daydreams. And then, there it was, a black cat. Our woods are home to foxes, deer and yes, feral cats. The uprooted trees and wild growth make for shelter for any furry creature around here. Finn stiffened and as he did so, I braced myself for the lunge. If you have a dog, you know the “lunge”. The movement forward as if to break the speed barrier in two seconds. That lunge.
As expected, the lunge happened but with my feet planted firmly on the ground and the leash around my back as leverage, Finn didn’t get too far. The black cat mocked him from the road, sitting there, lifting up its paw to lick it as if to say, “Hey, wazzup?” in a teasing kind of way. Then it jumped into the woods and disappeared. Finn was left breathing excitedly but with no outlet for his enthusiasm. We kept walking.
Ah, there will always be cats. Those events in our lives that pop up unexpectedly on our journey, teasing us, tempting us, asking us to speed forward without thought, just for that moment of victory, come what may. There will always be cats. And sometimes, the best recourse is to stay on our road, focused on the destination, knowing that the momentary distraction may not be worth the small victory we gain by giving it our energy and chasing after it without any real hope of catching it.
Dream. Absolutely dream. And know when it is that you need to lunge. And when it is that coming home to yourself means staying on your path despite the tempting distractions.
There will always be cats.