Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Before you appear in the newspaper
Something you don't see, and probably don't want to, is what your doctor's staff does every morning: they go through the obituary page of the local papers to see if any patients have died. We did it in our practice so that we could send a note of comfort to the family. So, there is the old joke about reading the obit page in the morning and, if you are not listed there, getting on with your day.

Take Ansel, pictured here on an outing last week. He's nine (I don't know what that is in "dog years"...but I digress). He used to run more than he does now. He still has his moments when he is friskie and playful, but he has slowed down.
This leaf was once a bud with nothing but a bright future ahead of it...and that was only months ago. Here it is, in November, clinging to the branch and probably unaware that its useful life is over. But is it?
Did it not catch my attention and give me a little pleasure when I photographed it (although I have no illusions that that was not its mission on earth). Come to think of it, does Ansel know the pleasure he has brought to our family? Is he aware of how we value his companionship and how we look after him as one of us? (Very nice, Dick, but what is the point?).
I am willing to bet that if I ask you to list your warts, faults and short-comings that you will produce an endless list of items. Most of us, it seems, are fulling aware of our lackings. But what if, instead, I asked you to list your inner assests, your gold? Some how folks seem unable to come up with much of anything on this side of the ledger.
Yet, if you ask a friend or a loved one to innumerate your pluses I bet that they will be able to come up with a lenghty list. Is that because we value modesty or that we feel it is wrong to brag (if it's true it ain't bragging)? I have some thoughts on that, but they will have to await another day.
Point here is that, like Ansel and the leaf, few of us realize the gifts and joy we give others just by being here and in their lives. We hear the inner voice of the critic while tuning out the voice of the King or Crone within. In doing so, we miss knowing that inner joy of having mattered and having made a difference and that, my friend, is to miss out on one of the sacred joys of life.
So, while you walk slower up the hill or cling to what life you have left, you can still look within and do a little gold mining...before you end up in the newspaper.
Paddle safe...


JohnB said...

I used to walk, and paddle, more slowly, but I seem to have gotten a second wind as I've aged. But, I know that one day I will slow down, or I should anyway.

Does Ansel know that we talked about him this morning over coffee and baked oatmeal? I'm still lobbying for an "Ansel", someday.

And, one final note. . .that leaf will nuture future growth when it turns to compost. And, I suppose some say that I spread a lot of compost myself, but I digress!

Silbs said...

How do you manage to get oatmeal and manure into the same thought? :)

JohnB said...

The oatmeal is a good source of fiber, which . . . well never mind I don't want to get too graphic here (now when did that ever stop me?).