By Myself but not Alone

PJ’s warm head rests on my lap, as I idly scritch her scruffy chest. Petra lies at my feet, always alert, but quiet for now. Milo is curled into a compact ball on a soft bed, and Rowan sprawls on the smooth floor. Wyatt sleeps in a corner.

The only sounds are the rhythmic ticking of the kitchen clock and PJ’s soft breathing.

Even the noise in my head has quieted after a day by myself. This morning I was like a Jack-in-the-box, hopping up every minute or two to attend to a dog, make tea, get a snack, look for something in my room, clean the counter. The more I tried to sit still, the more I thought of things that “needed” doing.

Now, though, I am content to sit with my hand on PJ, simply savoring this moment with the dogs and myself for company. My mind feels awake and yet calm, able to follow a train of thought from beginning to end without getting waylaid by static. Surrounded by quiet, with no demands on my time, I’ve been able to quiet my frenetic inner activity. The animals’ gentle presence draws me toward connection rather than production, softening my heart and tuning my ears to my own soul and to God.