Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Spot of Sun

Yesterday I woke up to this request from my wife: “Can you go to the other room and check to see if Chester’s dead?” Quite a way to start the day! Chester is our 18-year-old arthritic cat and he had been curled up in the spare bedroom without his usual middle of the night meowing. I approached with trepidation and was relieved to see him breathing. Which was easy to see because the other day he got shaved to deal with the matted hair he could no longer untangle himself. He looked like a rat with a giant head and bushy tail, the two places the haircutters left alone. It was a shock to come home to this Dr. Seuss caricature and sobering to find out that the hair would grow back at the glacial pace of 1/4 inch per month. It’s clear that Chester may not have enough months left to grow back to himself.

This morning I found him in a spot of sun, so peacefully soaking up its warmth. A small comfort in hard times, but maybe it’s enough. As it often is for my Mom when I can take her outside to the garden. At the end of the day, just to sit silently in the blessed light of the star that sustains our planet’s life is all we need. After passing through the 12 Labors of Hercules that music teachers go through—ie, the Spring Concert—I would be wise to sit next to Chester and share the pleasure.

Despite the convenience of laptops, the one place they don’t work for me is in the sun. Can’t see the little arrow on the screen, the artificially generated light of the computer trumped by the Emperor of Light and that’s as it should be. The computer is the trusty horse of today’s Herculean Labors that keep the world of human affairs spinning, but as Chester reminds me, there is more to this life than getting stuff done. Old or young, a spot of sun on the living room floor is an invitation to remember. And so I leave you to stretch out with my cat. Meow.

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