Saturday, June 04, 2005

Elsie's Wake; Our Wakes

Elsie may look like she's growing up, and she may act like she's growing up, but she still displays kid-like tendencies (in both the child-like and goat-like senses of the word).

She continues to leave a trail of her chewing adventures wherever she goes. Take the deck, for example (see photo above).

Last week I let Elsie and Baxter outside to play so I could get some work done in the office. An hour later, here's what I found on the deck (remember, this is Elsie's work in only an hour):
  • three bones
  • one whole Nylabone chew
  • one tiny piece of a blue-nibbed dental chew
  • one narrow rope
  • one red Kong toy (from which the narrow rope had been removed)
  • one multicolored, large-gauge knotted rope tug (which is quickly becoming floss)
  • three pieces of shredded outdoor electrical wiring (which had not been plugged in)
  • three arborvite branches (she's still making a den under the arborvite tree)
  • several twigs
  • a few pieces of wood-chip mulch
And that's only what you can see in the picture. :o)

At least she's not dragging our dirty laundry all over the lawn anymore (I've learned to lock the back door when she's out so she can't get to the laundry room).

Sweet Elsie Girl. Gotta love her. She's growing up, but she's still an imp.

Sounds like human kids, too. :o) They grow up, but they retain who they are at heart. And they retain a few less-than-desirable habits, too (instead of twigs and bones, human kids leave soda cans, candy wrappers, cracker boxes, and chip bags in their wakes).

The same could be said for us, I suppose. We grow up. We assume adult responsibilities, we act and look like grown-ups. But, inside we feel like we did when we were young.

Truth be told, I'm a month shy of forty-five and I feel no different inside than I did when I was fifteen. My 82-year-old mother tells me she feels similarly. Certainly we've matured, but we've retained the essence of who we are.

There's something about the spirit (or soul) that lasts; it's unfazed by our changing bodies. We act as though our bodies are everything (just look at the rise in plastic surgeries in the country), but our bodies don't last. Only our spirits do.

If that's the case, perhaps we should focus less on the external (like material things, wrinkles, clothes, hair styles, money, reputations, images) and more on the internal (attitudes, thought processes, character traits, forgiveness, love, gentleness, etc.). If we did, like Elsie, we might then leave only chewed-up things in our wakes (which really don't matter) instead of chewed-up people (which do).

Elsie's left a lot of chewed-up things behind her; but she's never left a chewed-up person (literally or figuratively). When it comes to how she treats people, her interior is in tact.

Can the same be said for us? What do we leave in our wakes?

'Til next time,


Cheryl said...

Wonderful post Joan!! Your pieces always make me take a long, hard, inward look at myself. Thanks for always reminding me of what's important!!

Joan said...

The canine kids always make me take a long hard look at myself. I can't get away from them!

We can learn a lot from our Labs. :o)