Hopscotch’s Re-Treats #2 What It’s Like Coming Home

Hey, fellow canines! This is a tardy second blog because we are getting our computer system in order.

You might remember from blog #1 that I’m the security professional in our community: big bark, little badge, no bite! I’m the one who warns the Sisters that trouble may be brewing somewhere on our property. I bark up a storm for anything. I’m not big enough to be a watchdog, not fierce enough to be a guard dog, just cantankerous enough to be a barker. Since I just turned 13 years old, I’m losing my hearing. But my vision is excellent, better than Ma’m’s, my alpha companion.

The objective of my blog is to share with other canines, and their human companions, whatever the Spirit inspires me to say from a spiritual perspective. Living with a spiritual director makes this sort of easy and I get a treat, a real milk bone, when I listen to her. Maybe your human companions will do the same for you if you get ‘the spirituality bug’!

Someone asked Ma’m why I’m writing this blog. Imagine that! I perk up my pretty, dangling cocker ears and say: why not?! There’s Molly, an English Bulldog in London who has her own radio show, and Dinky, an Australian Dingo, who is a pianist and entertainer. (Ma’m does harp that these two make money and I don’t!) So, I’m the writer-dog. I’m given more to reflection, imagination, creativity, and intellectual pursuits, like most illustrious cockers.

But as a cocker, I have my shadow side as well. In fact, the shadow side is really the dominant side. Figure that out Mr. Jung! I love to do what all cockers love to do: ride in the car with my head out the window and my ears flopping; roll in high grass and run after any animal smaller than me. I love to eat anything anywhere and cannot control the urge to empty our wastebaskets when no one is home.

I do not like the groomer, the veterinarian, the letter carrier, the neighbor who visits us over the backyard fence.

The saddest part of my day? When Ma’m leaves for work in the morning. I run to the window, cock my head, and put on my saddest look, meaning drooping eyes and sagging mouth. I really feel sad. But when I was younger, I would then trot around the house, emptying wastebaskets, hiding socks, and chewing pine cones and acorns I had stashed behind the sofa.

The best part of my day? When Ma’m comes home. She says I rival the talent on Cirque de Solle because I can turn in mid-air. No kidding. I jump up smiling and barking and whip around all four paws off the ground. Then I run to all the rooms on the first floor and slide into Ma’m. We plan our evening which includes eating, walking, exploring in all kinds of weather. We are both avid lovers of the outdoors.

The other night Ma’m finished her prayer time and sat me down for another lesson. “Hopscotch, when I come home you are always so welcoming and so happy. I know this is because you love me and you anticipate being with me, doing things together. It’s sad if a dog does not have such a joy to look forward to.” In one way, she said, it is like our loving Creator waiting for us to come home. Dissolving the distance that keeps love from growing between two beings is simple. Just show up. Go to the person who waits for you. Go to the God who waits for you. It doesn’t matter how long or far away you have been. It’s the reunion that matters. Like the story of the Prodigal Son in the Christian Scriptures. Check it out: Luke, 15: 11-31.

Ma’m says when we welcome people we are welcoming as God would. Yes, even if we welcome stray animals. As she put it, the act of welcoming is a sure sign of God’s presence. And, if one has been ‘away’ for a while, one should not be too timid to ‘show up’ and let God do the welcoming.

God has feelings, says, Ma’m, and God is ecstatic when we come home.

How’s that for a cheerful end to a mighty lesson? Demands a milk bone, I think.

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