And it is always there, like love is there.
Whether it fairly shouts at me or hides,
Whether it turns and turns in my heart
Like a slowly turning dagger, it is there.
And I shall find it. It Is Always There, by Kenneth W. Collier
We pondered these words yesterday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett. This morning, out of the dark of early morning, I could hear the wailing and yelping of our 18 year old Dachshund, Jewel. She was downstairs where she sleeps these days, far too old to make the staircase up to our bedroom. She now has her own plush sleeping quarters in the sun room.
But, I could tell that she was unhappy. I got up to go and check on her. The rain from Irma had already begun. I took Jewel outside and then back in. She was inconsolable. She got in and out of her bed a dozen times, tried to get under her blanket and then came out from under it half a dozen times, wailing and crying the whole time. Nothing soothed her–nothing that usually does, not the offer of food, not the comfort of her bed or her blanket, not going outside. Apparently not being inside.
So, instinctively, I got down on the floor next to her bed, and held her–mostly her head, cupped in my hands. Her wailing became whimpers. Her whimpers, after they stopped sounding continued to reverberate through her body for several more minutes. And then, she was asleep.
It was something between us that worked. It was in our touch. It soothed, it calmed, it cared, it worked.
This is September 11, a day that bears a national scar for us as Americans. Today, I am home from work because Hurricane Irma is moving through our area and schools are closed. Much of Florida is waking up to devastation. In the Caribbean, they are out of food and in panicked states. The Houston area is still trying to catch its collective breath, to calm the panic that reverberates through life there after Hurricane Harvey last week. To the south of us, Mexico is dealing with the aftermath of an earthquake.
It strikes me this morning that “IT” always exists within us and between us–whether IT’s the fears and anxieties of an elder dog, the horror of terrorism, or the devastation of nature’s storms on human dwellings. We do IT for each other. We are IT. We have IT always. IT flows between us. IT moves us toward pain and suffering with hands ready to help.
So, let us be aware of IT, and answer IT’s call today. Comfort is as close as our hands, and when we find them reaching toward another, IT is about to happen again.
Several years ago, a short prayer emerged for me that I say almost every day during my morning meditation:
This is my deep soul, and this is Spirit of which I am a part.
For me, this is IT.