No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.
We have two dogs: one who is only eight months’ old but approaching the size of a baby elephant, and the other who is also growing mightily but who, hopefully, will give up growing before the baby elephant stage.
Dogs being dogs, their bowels work mightily and with our garden being covered in stones, their daily bowel deliveries stand out like, well, the proverbial dog’s balls. So their shit has to be cleared up on a regular basis.
Now I considered whether to use a euphemism for “shit” – poo or droppings or dog’s business. And then, because I’m feeling rather feisty and full of energy this morning, I decided I was fed up with this Little Miss Twinkle-Toes approach we use in the West towards natural bodily functions.
Enough, already, with twee words, let’s call “poo”, “droppings” or “doggy business” what it really is – shit. Something dogs do and we do but we try to infantalise the whole deal by using silly, baby words.
So this morning I woke up and decided to take a different approach to the day – to offer whatever I do in service to Divinity, to be real about it and to be grateful for whatever the day dished up.
Armed with the dustpan and brush, I did the rounds of the garden but, instead of pulling a face, I went about the shovelling dog shit with attention, care and a sense of pleasure. I thought of the unconditional love we get from our dogs, their friendship and their joy in life, and felt such gratitude for being gifted with their care and upbringing.
We dispose of the dog shit in the overgrown field next door which is always deserted – what comes from nature, returns to nature. So in the spirit of service and changing attitude, I hurled the dog shit over the fence as if I was practising for the dog shit hurling event in the next Olympics. I’m getting better. The first day I nearly threw the dog shit in my face. But that hurling extended bit by bit as I practised each day, and now I’ve reached around six feet.
Amazing the difference attitude makes! From cringing as I approached each pile of shit, I felt a lot lighter, happier and imbued with a sense of humour. Shovelling shit first thing in the morning reflected a change in attitude – no whingeing, no carrying-on, no moaning about the dogs and their bowel movements, no pity party.
This attitude change – to stop whingeing, accept what I can’t change and enjoy what is – extends to daylight saving.
Now, I can’t say whether this is because I’m back in the Northern Hemisphere, but I quite enjoyed daylight saving during our first summer here last year far more than I did in Australia. There I felt out of sorts, complained bitterly about the clocks going forward and generally carried on like a pork chop.
So yesterday, when the clocks went forward an hour, I decided on a different approach.
Daylight saving happens. Moaning about it is a waste of energy. How about embracing it, forgetting about “real winter time”, shifting properly to now time, and look forward to enjoying the extended daylight in the evenings. And the bonus is that, with the change in time, our youngest puppy, Ziggy, now howls to be let out of their shed at 7.15 am instead of 6.15am. How good is that?
So now, having done my dog shit disposal duty and also practised some Chi Gung facing the east and blessing the sun that now shines on our verandah as the summer season progresses, I’m off to ambush my husband with “Pinch, punch, first day of the month” and “White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits” which is the good luck thing to do on the first of the month. But you have to do it before midday.
I’m not quite sure when, having been pinched on the arm, he’s going to be into the positive thinking like I am. But let’s be positive. He’ll LOVE it. And if you never hear from me again, please notify the police to check out freshly turned over patches in the field next door. Because that’s where he’ll have buried me!
P.S. No, still alive. All My Beloved did was grumble that he’d had 36 x 12 pinches and white rabbits as it’s coming up to 36th anniversary on 16th April. Must be love, eh?