Thursday, July 18, 2013


I've just had an epiphany. Since I was two years old, I've had pets in my life. And children: my extended family is vast, I have at least 25 first cousins. Possibly up to 30. Most of which are ten to twenty years younger than I am. So for most of my life, I've had young children and small animals as a part of it. And as my mother-in-law recently pointed out, these two classes of beings have always been drawn to me. Not to mention the fact that I've noticed that these two classes of beings in particular have thrived when under my care.

I've always had my own theories about why this is: why I have an uncanny, snow-white effect on the little children, the tiny animals. I used to tell myself that it was due to romantic notions like having a gentle nature, a pure heart, or a nonjudgmental attitude towards the innocent, nonjudgmental creatures of the world. I accept and love them as they are and they mirror back the same to me. My animals especially, I have noticed, gain thick glossy coats and don't want to leave my side. My skittish kitty who was born feral follows me around the house, clinging to my ankles as if she were a puppy dog. Even though I feed her dry corporate cat food that everyone knows is full of crap.

But it occurs to me today that it's not so much the quality of the food as it is the quality of the care. I can remember my mother, when she taught me baking and cooking, telling me that the secret ingredient in every recipe is always 'love'. It's a bit like that, isn't it? I don't mean to go all wacky new-age on you, but that is the thing about it, isn't it? The intention is more important than the content, I think.

So, the question that all this thinking beckons is: why can't I do that for myself? Why can't I put a nonjudgmental, loving intention behind my own care? Maybe then I would thrive like the little ones I've cared for. Maybe then I would -- oh, I don't know --  become balanced and healthy within myself, maybe? What do you think?