Dear Miss Sadie,
I was watching you this morning as you came in from your morning walk. It was a cold, crisp dawn. Every blade of grass was frosted with silvery crystals and each puff of your breath came out in a cloud of silver steam.
I watched you for a minute as you made your way through the winter woods, stepping daintily over fallen branches and the last remaining spots of snow. Your head was up, turning from right to left as you took in every scurrying chipmunk, bird-in-flight and blowing leaf. Your eyes were bright and vibrant, filled with mischief as you stepped lightly around the yard.
You and I are at just about the same point in life; no longer young but not yet in our dotage. We are past our physical prime, and both of us deal each day with the aches and pains of life. We both need more sleep than we did in the past. We could both stand to lose a few pounds. We have a lot in common.
But here is where we differ. While I bemoan my aching back, you take yours out for a run. While I spend precious emotional energy thinking about the past, you are only focused on the moment in which you find yourself. You never complain, and you embrace each day like a beautiful gift.
You can teach me a thing or two about aging with grace and joy.
I’m going to do my best to learn from you.
So tomorrow morning, when I open the door to let you out, I will watch as you bound across the grass with your tail wagging and your ears perked. I’ll smile as you stop to sniff the air, the holly bush, the spot where a deer stepped in the night. I’ll watch you race through the woods, and I’ll imagine the surge of joyous freedom that you feel. I’ll welcome you back inside with a pat and a hug and I’ll return your grin as you lay yourself down at my feet.
Then I’ll go into my day with a promise to keep my own heart high and to bound along as if today is a gift.