Friday, October 21, 2011

Hard Things are Good and Good Things are Hard

I knew it was wild and a bit like adding fuel to the fire when I left on that plane to get the dog.  And when I returned with her I can see it in your eyes when we pass at preschool or when your kids play with mine at the park and you watch as Shelby, somehow manages to knock the sunglasses off my face as I fight with that little red leash.  I could see it in your eyes.  The "why"?

There are many many reasons I've stopped asking "why?" and instead just obeyed what I'm moved upon to do or, sometimes, just picked up the pieces after what has already been done.   One big reason this summer at the beach had too too many rows of teeth to be asking questions about.

I've also, only recently,  stopped trying to make a "comfortable" life for myself. For me, it seems I'm happiest with a challenge in my face. Perhaps some have managed to fashion that elusive feathery existence with success.

But, they certainly don't (by choice or not) have the pain and joy of children.  They certainly don't think twice about a dip in the ocean, probably the Caribbean sort.  And they definitely didn't willingly bring a puppy into their lives.  They bob on the surface sipping the scum off the top layer of a sail away story.  It's comfortable.  To bob.

I've never been able to pull that off.  No matter how badly I craved it.  The ability to bob.  I can't  trust "comfortable".   This distrust has led to a greater trust in a Greater Being.  It has also led me to marvelous places and even more marvelous people.

Comfortable is the most seductive and dangerous states into which one is lured.  Watch her as she convinces you you're better off in that relationship, that job, that town, that home, that book club, that life that has warmed everything around you to mush so that you barely have to step to get around.  Just slide on the goo that used to be a sturdy stone up which you climbed and became stronger.

Let in the hard.  Let in the "wild puppy".  It may surprise you how your heart will begin to really beat and your mouth with laugh and yelp with the wildness and stretch of it all.  You'll cry, too.  Oh how you'll cry.  But, there was never ever anything wrong with crying.  No one was ever worse off for indulging in a good wailing weep.  Ever.

Just yeseterday arriving home, with a head cold and sore feet I climbed into bed still wearing my coat and my hat.  Across the hall Avery and Hazel were deep in the messy messiness of imaginaryland.  Yet downstairs was Shelby.  Crated for the sake of all sanity.  Whining.  That slow mournful kind that goes down low and rises to a note un-ignorable.

I moped down the wood steps and unlatched her puppy prison.  She leapt until we reached the front lawn.  I began to run kicking the soccer ball already pock-marked with her baby teeth holes.  She ran full force.  Full.  Force.  Only to slam and flip her puppy paws and all in grass and air.  I breathed hard from the chase.  So did she.  The we stopped, she nuzzled her mug down into the cool October grass and spread all four limbs wide.  Wide.  I looked up and watched the most brilliant sun going down behind the most brilliant clouds.

And I was grateful, once again, for how "uncomfortable" can open me.  Wide.

Then, we came in, she back in her crate, settled, content.  Me in the kitchen to start dinner.


kelly said...

you ever read something simple and moving at just the right time in your life?
that post was just right for me for this time.
and regrettably i wish i was posting a picture of "the time i met Jordan from My Angle of Repose":(

Ingrid said...

Oh I just love you! You say it all too well! I also am happiest with challenge in my face. Stop by my blog and see my latest happy "challenge."

Digsby Mac Feegle said...

Thank you. I needed this today.

Annie said...

Oh, yes.

TX Girl said...

I think your ability to be uncomfortable is one of your most (although you have many) endearing qualities. The thing I would most like to steal away from you and use as my own. I slip a little too easily into "comfortable".

Tasha said...

I agree with Lara. The way you adapt and bend and thrive while doing so, its one of the most beautiful things about you, and when its painful for you, that is one of the most beautiful things about you too.

Rebecca said...

Good for you! You have never been afraid of hard things!

Raesha D said...

You are awesome!! The puppy years will fade and you will have a beautiful and loving canine companion for many years soon. When we got our Frenchie I remember many nights of crying at how hard he was to control and to train and I was so frustrated.....your post was perfect to remind me that all good things come after being through the refiners fire:)

sara b said...
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Rebekah V. said...

The burning oxygen in your lungs from a hard thing really is good for your health (physical, emotional and spiritual) I am looking forward to another talk with you soon.

Happy Harrison said...

one of the best posts I've ever read. thanks.

Amy W. said...

As always, so well said. Thanks for the reminder:)

shawna b. said...

Amen and amen.

Lara said...

This post really struck a chord with me. I get so depressed when I am not challenging myself somehow. I recently read a book on learning styles, and realized that this inability to "be comfortable," as you so astutely put it, is a part of the way my brain works. But I loved reading your thoughts about it, and faith.

I am hoping to get a puppy soon, too. I've just convinced my husband of it, and now I've got to find one, but we think it will be best to wait until spring since the snow is rather scary where we live.

(I clicked through from BlogHer, glad I did!)