I watch Lilly lay on the floor, soaking up the warmth from a ray of sun. Lilly is my 15 year old tortoiseshell cat and she has taught me so much. Lilly has been with me through many ups and downs in my life. She has been a source of comfort and joy. She has been a teacher to me.
My son and I went and got Lilly from a lady when she was approximately 2 years old. The lady loved her but had to find another home for her. I remember the first time I saw her, my beautiful Lilly stealthily moving through the grass. From the moment we brought her home, Lilly has been my girl. We had an instant connection.
Lilly is who she is, fully present in each moment, and she is a magnificent being. I wonder what it would be like to be fully present in each moment of the day. Too many times I am either reflecting about the past or worrying about the future and I have missed so many opportunities to seize and savour the present. I strive to be in the present moment, to just be, knowing that this moment shall pass and whatever I try to hold tight in my hands will slip through them like sand, forever changing. A woman I admire showed me how to practice standing with my arms outstretched, hands open, just being in the moment, letting go, letting it flow, being a part of something so much bigger than me. How wonderful when I can realize and glimpse the hugeness of it all, this life changing around me as I breathe, the earth beneath my feet thousands of years old, and the wind carrying songs and secrets through the trees, across the oceans, connecting us all.
Lilly does not suffer low self -esteem. In fact, it is my opinion that she is quite satisfied with herself, her place in the world, her unique contribution to this life. Lilly shines and she does not try and be anything other than who she is and who she was created to be. How often have I compared myself to those around me, usually coming up short in some aspect. And yet, I believe part of our beauty is the differences that make us unique. Why is it that at times I find myself desperately trying to conform to something that I don’t even value? Would I be loved anymore if I conformed to the present “standards” projected through marketing with its predictable images of what we are supposed to be striving towards? Perhaps the answer is in learning to love myself, my differences, and in that love, being able to love others more generously. Is this why Lilly can love me so abundantly? Because she accepts herself?
Deep down I sense that this life is the dream, the sleeping, and when we pass to the other side we will have known it all along, present with our Creator, and we will understand.
I am a dreamer and when I see Lilly sleeping, I can’t help but think she is too.
Deana Lafleur 2018