Sunday, September 21, 2014

A lesson from Lucy...

Lucy and I try our best to walk every morning.  It’s been hotter than blue blazes these last few weeks and Lucy and I are feeling our age. Our fatigue, and the heat can get the best of us as the hot San Antonio temperatures drone on.

We start our walks rather peppy and quick paced, but after about 30 minutes we begin to wilt.  Lucy, at the end of her leash begins slowing her pace, panting heavier with each step and stopping often to sniff and smell anything that gives her cause. 

I, if given a choice, would much rather plow ahead and get this grueling routine over and done and therefore, I just may lose sight of a slice of delight that might be hiding right beneath my tennis shoes.

The past few weeks Lucy has resorted to a new little routine that she finds completely refreshing and I must admit, I find hysterically funny.  Walking along my neighborhood sidewalks, my mind floats off in a thousand directions. Suddenly I am brought back to the present when I feel a tug on the end of the leash.  Shaking my mind back into reality, I look up to find Lucy has found a neighbor’s lawn that is being watered.  

Lucy has a new definite and very exact ritual that she now performs daily.  The first hint of fatigue, the girl begins sniffing out any possibility of water. Next, she gently, cleverly, and slyly, so as not to disturb my deep in thought pace, creeps onto the lawn being sprinkled.  Her furry paws tip toe into the wet grass and bam, she’s down.  Rolling with great gusto across the sprinkler heads, face planting her head, ears and cute little black button nose, into the cool wetness beneath her, she then, dexterously snakes her body through the blades of grass to ensure that every inch of her hot tired figure is soaked to the core by the cool water.  Her last phase of this routine is to lie perfectly still, her little head burrowed down between her paws, with great dollops of water hanging from her now long drooping eyebrows, she looks up at me with her big brown eyes and I swear she smiles. She is happy and content that she has found a way to refresh her body, mind and soul.

Quite a few of my neighbors have witnessed me standing there, staring at my goofy saturated dog. Lucy laying in the middle of someone’s lawn with their sprinklers running at full blast, and me at the other end of the leash, laughing out loud at her genius and her delight.

The other day I was sitting by a good and very special friend who was having one of those times when life seems simply overwhelming, one of those moments that tend to drone on and on.  

We all have moments like this, when tears just begin to flow.  There is no rhyme, no reason for the tears other than they are utterly our only release from life’s hot summer sun. Our immediate response might be to plow forward, hoping to overcome the heaviness with a mindset to simply endure, to march forward, and hope the sadness, the heaviness, passes quickly, so that we can mark it off of our life's must-do list.

I think Lucy has discovered the solution to the fatigue that life brings, and I think we might all learn a lesson from her.  Unlike me, who feels the need to trudge on hot, sweaty and tired, determined to complete my walk as quickly as possible, my wise dog, finds that when it’s time to stop, rest and soak in life, then one should do it, right then and there.  

Lucy has taught me you don’t have to trudge on when life seems unbearable. Instead, take that unrivaled moment and stop, plop down and enjoy what lies beneath your paw steps and submerge yourself in that moment. Soak joy and delight into every fiber of your being, and once you feel totally satiated, be still, and take note of all that is around you. Finally, look up with a smile of thanksgiving and be grateful to the One that deserves our gratitude.

At the end of Lucy’s little routine, she will suddenly jump back on her feet, and she will give her body a might shake.  Water will fly off her coat, she will regain her stature and onward she proceeds, but not before looking back at me, as if to say, “Come on what’s the hold up?  We still have a long way to go before we are finished.”

For what it’s worth,

Janet & Lucy

Matthew 11: 28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


  1. Janet , We look forward to reading your blogs. We were in Chicago last week and my daughter has the same breed of dog (Quigley) as Lucy. He is very loving and thinks he is a lap dog. Keep the blogs coming ! Warmest regards, Paul & Mae

  2. Thanks Paul. Hope all is well with you, Mae and your girls.