Loving What Is: Exercises for the Day

1. Hearing my bike wheel making a terrible noise on my way to campus mid-morning, only to find a screw stuck, point down, firmly in the back tire. Wondering how I was going to make it to campus and back home in time to let my puppy out of her crate and deciding to take the bike to the usually grumpy old man at the bike shop next door to the pet store, thinking at least I could go ahead and get the puppy food and treats that I needed, only to find that the pet store was not open yet. Finding that, without the story that the grumpy old man was necessarily going to be grumpy, he in fact wasn't. And indeed, that he offered to fix my tire while I waited, promising that I would get to campus much more quickly that way. Spending the time while he was fixing my tire petting his 7-month-old spotted Great Dane.

2. Having been reassured at the puppy class last night that it was okay to let my puppy chew most of the things that she found on the street (sticks, plastic cups, leaves and the like) as long as she didn't swallow and, therefore, allowing her to keep gnawing on a certain treasure that she had just found, only to discover, on looking more closely, that it was the wing and leg of a small bird. Treatless and anxious lest she swallow the bird bones, picking her up and wrenching the bird remains out of her mouth. And yet, despite the fact that this was the best treasure she had ever found, her not growling at me.

3. Discovering on my way out the door to campus for the second time today that my son had not taken his house keys and worrying that he would have to wait as much as an hour in the rapidly dropping temperatures until I got home. Calling my husband to let him know what was real. Getting an email on my Blackberry (surreptitiously, while I was listening to our job candidate's talk) from my husband reassuring me that all was well. Getting home to find that my husband had come home from work a bit early in order to let our son in before going to his class on campus for the evening.

4. Finding when I sat down next to my colleagues in the department that somewhere between home and the department I had lost one of my rings. Saying "sh*t" just as Katie says one does when one is at odds with reality, realizing what I was doing and thinking about what she says about losing things and how that, too, is kind because the ring might in fact now be meant for someone else to wear. Spending odd moments during the talk thinking about other rings I might get now that the finger on which I usually wear the ring was bare. Finding the ring under the wheel of my back bike-tire when I went to unlock the bike to ride home. Smiling at the thought that this was not the first time I had lost and found this particular ring while taking my bike keys out of my pocket. How like a magic ring to lose and find itself in this way, I thought.

5. Taking the puppy out of her crate and into the blowing snow so that she could do her business. Having her pee and poop like a pro, only to have the wind blow the poop out of the bag and into my hand before I could tie the bag. Finding that the poop was solid enough to pick back up with my fingers and that there was enough snow on the garbage can to wipe off any residual poop. Having my son play with the puppy so that I could write this blog post.

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