Ani, my dog is in the mood for play and has been since I got up at half past five. It is not unusual. Her needs are simple, food, play, walks, lots of love and somewhere warm to sleep. Usually the sofa, in spite of all my efforts to convince her otherwise.
By six am we had done sleep, food and walk… cuddles are always the first job, before even the kettle is switched on. After all, she hasn’t had a cuddle for at least five hours. Now I need to work, and she wants to play.
She understands that when I am at the computer I am ‘unavailable’ for ball throwing and tug of war. But understanding doesn’t necessarily mean not trying. She will hopefully bring me a toy and carefully insert it on the shelf below the keyboard, sitting with her tongue out and tail-end wagging, looking at me expectantly.
She is a persistent soul. She has her eyes set on her goal and works towards it with determination and a clear vision of where she wants to be. The only side issues are the distractions of duty… usually by a passing fly, a pigeon invading her garden or the postman, all of which clearly need to be dealt with as a matter of some urgency.
After a while, I will generally explain that I am busy and it is not playtime, a conversation we have several times a day and which she quietly ignores. If the first toy doesn’t do it, she will offer me another, until the shelf is full and her toy box empty. Then she will sit beside me gazing up soulfully, with her head on my knee, knowing I can’t resist and at the very least my fingers will slide into the silky fur of her ear as she leans her head into my hand for the caress.
Just occasionally, if I fail to respond, her impatience takes over and I find my sleeve being surreptitiously nibbled. If that doesn’t attract sufficient attention, I end up with a substantial dog hauling herself onto my lap and in front of the screen in the full and certain knowledge that I simply cannot ignore her.
I can sympathise with her. We are not unalike. My needs too are simple and I am trying to develop an inner patience. The preparation for the annual workshop involves an awful lot of practical work. This is wonderful and I am loving every second of rolling my sleeves up and getting on with it… it challenges and stretches me daily as I learn new skills and enhance or remember old ones. I am constantly busy, constantly awake and focussed on whatever the task in hand may be.
This spills over into other areas of my life. When duty calls I bring a new efficiency to it, knowing that if I ‘bark’ effectively at my ‘pigeons’ I can return all the quicker to the Work with my mind free of distractions.
Yet there is this odd dichotomy, for so much of the Work has its being on the inner levels. Only here will I find the knowledge and understanding I need. It can be hard, waiting, when you know there are things to come, but I cannot nibble at Its sleeve or crawl onto Its lap. I must wait in patient inner quiet for that touch. The days are so hectic, yet within them I have to find time and space to simply lay my head on the knee of the One and wait for that Hand to touch me with Love.