So, the boys ended up coming up here before I got downstairs. Michael read his homework book to Shane and then I looked at pictures on Facebook with Eli. Eli loved seeing pictures of his friend Finn's new little brother. Then we looked at pictures of his cousin Cole's b-day party. It was simple, pleasant & fun. I love the way Eli's face glows when I am paying attention to just him. Then we all piled onto the futon cushion in Michael's room (which Eli chooses to sleep on instead of the brand-new Ikea bed in his own bedroom) and I read another chapter of "Clementine's Letter" by Sara Pennypacker. Michael is a big fan of Clementine. He says he is just like Clementine only more silly and distracted. He says that he is a Tangerine.
Anyway, so Sophie was hyper all through this. It is wonderful for Sophie to be hyper. Sophie is getting older and has severe arthritis. Her vet just started her on Remadril which is a miracle drug. Sophie went from seeming like she would die any day, crying in pain all the time, to doing the circle-hop dance when she saw me get out the leash. It was rain-snowing outside but I figured a walk around the block wouldn't hurt so we ended up walking around at least four blocks. [big smiles]
The rain-snow slowly turned to snow-rain and it got very slick. I liked the walk anyway. Sophie is a very happy girl when she's out sniffing new and interesting smells and its a joy to be with her. The snow-rain looked lovely through the light of the streetlamps. I could occasionally hear thunder and train horns, but mostly it was quiet. Our neighborhood is charming and, shall we say, well-established. Our house is over a hundred years old. The old houses tend to be on the corners of the streets with lots of 1930-40s bungalows and post-war cottages in between. Very few homes have attached garages and almost none have garages on the fronts of the houses. I love that - I hate houses that look like they were designed for cars instead of people. Most of the homes have huge old trees. There's a nice economic mix as well, so you have really nicely kept up homes mixed with rental and/or starter places that are more shabby. Its urban yet not at the same time.
The thing that bothered me through the whole walk was that I kept noticing my brain slipping away from the walk and into some chattering thought (like what I was going to write in the blog when I got home). I wasn't able to stay in my body very well, even though the cold kept kindly bringing my attention back. :-) Then I remembered Pema Chodron saying that thoughts are just the nature of mind and the important part of mediation is just bringing your attention back to center, back to noticing, back to awareness. So I tried to kindly bring myself back to my awareness of the cold snow-rain dripping off my hood and onto my face. To Sophie shaking her sweet golden brown pelt free of the wet then wagging her way to another treetrunk/fencepost/bush/other. To the soft dripping of the snow-raindrops. To the pinging of water on a metal disk. To a lantern glowing. To my aching lower back (I learned that loosening my hips as I walk helps). To the glowing sky. To my joy at still being alive and here, now.