But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lordfrom this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 131:2-3 (ESV)
Today was a day of surprises. I’m not just talking about how cold the water was when I tried to go swimming or how the sun finally came out about 3:00 this afternoon. I’m not even talking about the clerk in the chocolate shop who when I asked what a banana pudding flavored chocolate tasted like, cocked his head and said, “Banana pudding.” No, I am talking about the surprise that showed up on our porch while I was taking a nap this afternoon. While husband watched the race on television, I staked out the swing on the front porch. With the addition of a few pillows, it made a comfy place for a nap once I put on a sweatshirt to ward off the chill coming off the water. With the sound of the rushing stream as a lullaby, I was alternately thinking about how much Cory would enjoy this place and dozing. Until a noise near me on the porch, prompted me to open my eyes. I was face to face with a dog. Not my sweet little Cory, but a dog that appeared to be growling at me. Her mouth was pulled back in a grimace and her teeth were showing. I shrieked and called for husband who came out the door and started talking baby talk to the dog that went from “growling” to grinning. She rolled over on her back and wagged her tail. I was still skeptical, but he showed me how tame she was when he gave her a piece of bacon. She gobbled it down as well as a snickerdoodle cookie but turned her nose up at the dog food he found in the pantry. After wandering around the yard for a while and getting a drink from the stream, she spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping underneath the swing while I worried about her. She didn’t look too thin and the fact that she refused the food told me that she probably had a home, but we are in a very remote area and I was afraid she might be lost. I wondered about her name. I imagined taking her home with us. I worried about her collar which looked like it might be too tight. I worried about what would happen to her when we leave. And I worried what would happen if Jim, the property owner, found out and thought that we had tried to sneak a dog onto the property that has a “no pets” rule. When Jim really did show up unexpectedly, she took off. I told him about her and he laughed. Turns out her name is Patches. She has a good home and is well loved and well fed. She lives on the other side of the hill behind the cabin and she “works the tourist season.” She shows up every day that people are staying at the cabin begging for food. She refuses dog food, but enjoys steak, hot dogs and whatever the renters who take pity on her cook for her. Jim says he gets a call at least once a week all summer long with people worried about Patches. People like me. I felt like I had sucker written all over me. Not to mention having wasted so much time worrying over her. In my quest to be still, I learned that while I can still my body, stilling my mind is going to be a harder thing to accomplish.