|My dog, Baby, was always right by my side. Except one scary night when she disappeared.
Or so I thought…
We adopted her from a local shelter soon after settling into our house in Florida.
She was an older dog; mellow, sweet and not easily moved. She liked to lay by my side night and day. She was my mostly companion.
If I got up from the couch in the living room to go into the kitchen, she came with me. It took her a minute or two to lift her body up off the floor. Sometimes she would be just in the doorway of the kitchen when I would be returning back to the living room.
When I went upstairs to bed, she made it slowly and carefully up the stairs, too.
If I forgot to get a glass of water I would try to convince her to stay upstairs while I ran back down. It made me feel bad to see her pushing hard on her knees to rise up and follow me downstairs, but she always did. As I descended the stairs I would soon hear her padding down the steps behind me.
When I worked in the yard she would find a cool spot to lie down. If I moved to a different part of the yard she would find another cool spot somewhere close by.
When I looked up from my work if I didn’t see her right away I would feel a twinge of fear. My mind would race. Just as I was about to search the property she would lift her tired body up and appear a few feet away.
I was conditioned to the wanderings of other dogs I have known and loved. In the past if I took my eyes off of them, they enjoyed the opportunity to adventure into other yards.
Laughing at myself I realized Baby was different.
After a while I relaxed as I realized she was always close by. There really was no reason to fear, because we had love. And I knew it was love, and not her sore knees, that kept her from wandering.
Until one night when I let her outside and then came in to take a phone call. When I came back, she wasn’t waiting by the door. I was surprised she wasn’t there waiting for me.
She didn’t come.
There was no moon and everywhere I turned it was too dark to see.
I wandered around the property with a dim flashlight and a panicky heart.
Our large rural property seemed frightening to me that night. I waded through tall grasses and listened intently for a clue.
I heard dogs barking in the distance and my mind imagined Baby over near those dogs. I heard cows begin to bellow and horses sounding agitated far down the road…was she there?
I called. I searched. I thought about rattlesnakes, bears and coyotes. I worried and I cried.
After several hours of fright I called a friend who tried to reassure me, “Oh, Cat, she’s just off on a little adventure. She’ll probably be back by morning.”
I wanted to argue, “No, you don’t understand! She never leaves my side!” But instead I thanked my friend for her reassurance.
Hanging up the phone, standing in my brightly lit kitchen I decided I better start praying. I finally did what I should have done in the beginning; I turned to the Light and prayed.
“Thank you, Spirit. Thank you, Dear Ones. Thank you for helping me to know what to do. Thank you for bringing to my mind wisdom and understanding in this situation. Thank you for keeping Baby safe, and for bringing us back together in the right and perfect way. Thank you for shining your light upon us in this moment.”
As I spoke the pain and panic dissipated. When I opened my eyes I saw my Guides standing around me once again. Grateful that my sight was back I listened within as they reminded me of the truth.
“Always focus on love, Cat.” The tall one spoke, “Fear brings to you what you don’t want and fear pushes what you do want away from you.”
“Love,” they remind me, “Love draws what you want closer. Let your love flow, Cat.”
I went outside and sat upon the steps.
I put my tiny flashlight down and looked up to the stars. In the darkness I could see an infinite number of them. It was breathtaking. As I felt gratitude for the presence around me I began to feel lighter.
And then the power of Love began to flow through me once again.
My heart opened and in my mind I saw Baby by my side.
A soft rustling in the plants near me made me turn to see Baby lift up her head. Two beautiful brown eyes glistened in the starlight.
She was lying in the dirt just a few feet away. I could hear her tail thumping happily upon the earth. She was glad I had returned…
I had spent half the night running around in the dark and she spent half the night sleeping under the stars, waiting for my return.
I laughed to myself as she slowly lifted her body from the dirt and came sleepily over to my side. I held her close and gave thanks that she had been safe and close to home all that time.
I gave thanks that I could once again wrap my arms around her and feel love.
I gave thanks and I promised myself I would buy a brighter flashlight.
Of course I hoped it would never happen again. I hoped I would never again jump to conclusions, never assume the worst and never let my imagination run around in the dark.
But human-ness shows up. Fear tries to get a hold of us and when it does it takes us farther and farther down the road away from what we want. Fear quickly gets us lost in the dark.
When we find ourselves in these dark places, we need to remember to look up.
It is in the darkest places that the stars shine the brightest.
If you are afraid to take a step forward because it is so dark, stop and look for the light. Don’t stumble and fumble around in the dark as I did.
What you are looking for is probably right outside your door.
The joy, the healing, the light and the love you desire is closer than you can imagine.
Step outside and look up. See?
The stars are shining down upon us tonight.
And everything is going to be all right.
In love and light,
In loving memory to
all of our guides, familiars and teachers in animal forms.