Thursday, January 19, 2006

Learning to Savor

Ah, for a Lab, there's nothing like a good bone!

I had a busy work day ahead of me today, and I didn't want to crate Elsie and Ridge, so I pulled out some solid, flavored knuckle bones to keep them happily occupied.

And the three of them went to town on their bones.

No one needs to teach them to savor this occasional (at our house) treat: they sniff it; they lick it; they prod it; the scrape their teeth on it; they hold it in their paws; they protect it; they enjoy it until their jaws tire; and even then, after a rest, they return to savor it some more.

Why don't we savor good things, even little things, more? That is, we humans. Labs have no trouble taking time to enjoy life's graces.

We're blessed with sooooooooo much, and not just things; moments, too. Yet we blur right by them or through them with barely a notice.

When I break out the bones for Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge, it's almost as though they've never been offered anything quite so delightful before. It doesn't matter if it's the 10th or 100th bone they've received. Each is fresh and exciting and fun and thoroughly gratifying.

They know how to savor. And we can learn from them.

Here's a short list of what I'm learning to savor, and as I do, my heart is becoming more full because of my savoring:

  • my health (I can breath, see, hear, walk, smell, eat, think clearly, and a thousand other things -- my heart works, my live works, my lungs work, my brain works, my kidneys work). How quickly our health can change!
  • my marriage (not perfect, but after 24 years my husband is still my best friend; I'm learning to treasure, appreciate, and enjoy him).
  • my environment (sounds--stopping, closing my eyes, and just listening; sights--e.g.:noticing birds in the backyard and at the feeders; stopping and taking a moment to watch them; weather--enjoying the seasons and changes as they come).
  • my kids (my human ones). I'm stepping back to notice all I love about them; they're personalities, passions, strengths, quirks--just who God made them to be.
  • my work (being grateful that I have work; that I work in a profession I enjoy; that I work remotely from home most days; that I enjoy my co-workers; and that I'm using my strengths and gifts to help people).
  • life itself (that God has given me this day, another day to live--how quickly and suddenly so many die without ever appreciating the lives they had).
  • my canine kids :o) (their silliness, their eagerness, their faithfulness; all they teach me; the love they offer; their calming influence; the fact that we can afford to have them)
  • our circumstances (not perfect, but we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear, cars to drive, and money to pay the bills most months)

Savoring doesn't mean life is perfect: We still have tough things with which to deal and stressors that weigh on our hearts. But savoring means appreciating what's good.

And we all have something good to savor, if only we'll take a moment, open our eyes, and notice.

Just like Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge do, virtually every moment of every day.

'Til next time,


1 comment:

Herbie said...

Just wanted to say 'Hi'. Like your dogs, I love my bone too!