On a sunny day, our cat Jimi will find that temporary, sunny, warm spot no matter how small. Lately, in the mornings, he will quietly situate himself on the floor between the kitchen and dining room and settle right in for about half an hour of streaming sunshine deliberately oblivious of my coming and going. After walking around him several times this morning, it occurred to me to take notice of just what was going on.
Here was a creature who knew -- without a watch or calendar or schedule -- that this was just the right time and just the right place for a pause. Talk about "be here now!"
Okay, I do realize that we humans can't just stop everything and bask in the ideal moment. Right? Right?? I mean, we have things to do. There are expectations. Schedules. Appointments. People to meet, to answer to, to move along.
Yes, actually, we can: we can learn a lot from watching animals, wild or domestic.
Animals take advantage of the good moments and make the most of them, whether it's a ray of sunshine to warm you or a meal that is right in front of you. Animals who have been injured or done wrong don't hold grudges and they don't hate; they do, however, learn lessons and remember who can't be trusted. On the other hand, they remember -- some for a long, long time -- when they have been loved and cared for. Animals take the time to keep themselves clean every day. And they play -- they definitely play! So they know the value of relaxation.
Even on a rainy day, Jimi will find a warm place to snuggle in for a pause. The sunny spot isn't the thing; he'll create his own "sunshine," even if there isn't any. And after that, he'll hunt, play, clean, sleep a little more, stretch, run around like a crazy cat, snuggle, hunt, play and sleep. And he'll do this no matter what the weather.
So, yes. Animals -- without speech, without social media, without corporations or healthcare or government -- animals are naturally smart and have a lot to teach us. So, take a breath, take a look at your life, the day-in and the day-out, and I hope you notice your patch of sunshine, your joy, your satisfaction. And then, I hope you take the time you can to pause, bask, and appreciate, before you recognize that now it's time to move on.