Delayed delight – 24

Today’s delight was the hardest to come by in this entire month of ready delights. It’s not that I didn’t have a good day. I really did. I was logging things as the day went by: unnamed purple ground cover stretching across large swaths of field on my country drive to church. Waiting for a long time for our lunch order to arrive seated with great company in an historic building. The historic place reminded me of the restaurant scenes from Little House on the Prairie.

These were contenders for the day’s delights. As was the nap I took immediately after returning home from lunch. Then came a restlessness that clung to me for the next few hours–another bout of Hans homesickness. Sometimes these bluesy moments catch me by surprise as today’s did.

Once I started feeling like I needed to force a delight, I knew I was way off base. I pulled out Ross Gay’s The Book of (More) Delights, the source of this beautiful month-long experience, and I felt my ease return. That’s the power of reading for me. So then for awhile I thought maybe reading was the delight. I felt dismayed that the delight was so hard to attain. Then I got an idea watching my sweet dog sleep on her bed next to mine.

I don’t snuggle her enough because I have an aversion to dog fur clinging to my clothes. It seems a silly thing, but it really does preoccupy my mind. I’ve been trying to get past this barrier to showing my dog the love I feel for her.

I recently rolled out my yoga mat and leave it on the floor as an invitation to step on it and do a few poses when the mood strikes. On these occasions, Ivy makes a beeline to me, and steps all over me and my mat.

I got the idea to lay down on my back and see if she’d lay down next to me. I actually felt a sense of excitement and wonder. What would Ivy do? I was approaching my dog with curiosity and letting my inquiry bust through this hours-long restlessness. I changed into clothes I didn’t mind getting furry and laid down on the mat. Ivy didn’t notice me at first, so I called her name. She made her way over to me and sniffed out the situation. She lowered herself to the floor and stretched her front paws toward my face. A few times our foreheads touched, and this delighted me.

Our few minutes on the floor in quiet communion reminded me of a recent article I read about why lying on the floor feels so good and what its benefits are. As I laid peacefully on the floor with my dog, I sensed calm wash over me. I was glad I had followed through on this strange form of companionship with my dog, and when I got up I realized that I hadn’t actually gotten much fur on my clothes, so I committed to cuddling up with my pup more often.

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