portrait of a life: untamed wonder

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. – Socrates

It is Sunday. A day of rest and meditation… and laundry. I start the day by opening the curtains and blinds, letting the sun cast its reflection on my need-to-be-mopped floors. I light a candle, breathing in the scent of sandalwood. I take a moment for quiet. Birds sing chorus outside my window and my weather app tells me it is supposed to be a beautiful day.

I sit in sweatpants, trying to enjoy a cup of coffee, asking myself what makes a life spectacular. Even deeper: what makes my life spectacular?

Suddenly, the floor begins to vibrate under my feet and here she comes: that 60 pound torpedo of untamed curiosity. Daisy runs the length of my home, back and forth, jumping on and off the couch, chasing a toy, skittering into the kitchen and sliding into the wall.

She’s all legs, paws slipping and sliding underneath her girth. She tosses the toy a few feet in front of her, pounces, scoops it up, and throws it again. The floors shake under her mass.

She sniffs, nose to whatever seems interesting. She licks. She runs. She is nothing if not curious.

Daisy sees everything as an invitation for the full gravity of her existence: a sneeze, a gently closing door, a creak in the floorboard – here she comes. Abandoning what held her attention, running in a full golden flush and flurry. Paws first, jumping in, led by curiosity and wonder. She’s a big girl commanding a small space without apology. She doesn’t bend, doesn’t exile herself to a certain spot on the couch but covers all of it; she doesn’t shrink, doesn’t stick to corners. She tumbles and sprawls and plays and charges.

And where I am, she must be. When I sit, when I stand, when I go to the bathroom, she’s there. She darts between my legs, jumps into my lap, licks my face and feet and legs. She is unashamed in her wanting to be with me.

I, at times, feel stress and tiredness growing talons in my body. Sharp as needles, I lash out, the irritability making everything feel like light to a migraine-riddled mind.

I push her away more often than I’d like to admit. Yelling, “Sit! Settle! Leave it!” I get so bone-weary.

And she never retreats from me. Never cowers from the things that shame me. No matter how long and hard my days seem to be, no matter how impatient I am when I arrive home, she is never tamed.

I learn from her, watching her clumsy acts of play. Where do I hold back? Where do I quiet down? Where have I retreated from opportunities to participate with wonder?

My sweet Daisy girl. My home is nothing but brick and mortar without your spirit.