“I’m not sentimental,
This skin and bones is a rental,
And no one makes it out alive.”
— Switchfoot, “Where I Belong”
Life in all forms is to be celebrated. Don’t think so, then do what I did tonight. Play with an 8 week old pit bull puppy. You’ll be reminded what simple joy is.
Luna is a bundle of energy sufficient to power a warp engine. She’s the new younger sister to Loki, a powerful good natured pittie with a tongue that will give you a tonsillectomy if it gets a chance. Both dogs belong to my dear friend “Seattle” Sandy. I call her Seattle Sandy because, well, she’s from Seattle and to distinguish her from Sandy Bledsoe.
She has puppy breath! (Luna, not either Sandy, so far as I know). Puppy breath is God’s way of reminding us that life is a miracle. So is the smell of a baby’s hair. There is nothing like either and both smell like life to me, before it’s had a chance to get stale or cynical.
Babies and puppies aren’t cynical. They are full of wonder at the each new thing. They remind us that while we may not make it out alive, we are alive while we are here and we are wired to approach it with awe and amazement.
When we realize that our lives aren’t ours, that our “skin and bones is a rental” we become free to live in the moment. Life is free to become wondrous again and even the smell of a puppy’s breath elicits happiness. We can release the cynicism in which we are mired. We are free to love and give our lives for others. It is true, we may get hurt in the process, but giving that which I cannot hope to hold is no loss. The rental period ends eventually and my body will return from whence it came, I hope completely rusted and beat up with no gas in the tank. That will have been a full life.
In the meantime, the journey continues, now entering its 57th year. Where it will go, I have no idea. I just hope to live it in the moment and well. I hope to laugh, and make others at least smile. I will undoubtedly cry, but crying is like running a dishwasher for your emotions. They are cleaned and rinsed, even if it does leave spots on your glasses. Amidst the laughter and tears, I hope I can find a few puppies and find odd baby to smell. Come to think of it, maybe I should just stick to smelling my grandson, Elliot.