“Originally, the word power meant able to be.
In time, it was contracted to mean to be able.
We suffer the difference” (Mark Nepo, Book of Awakening).
In a world weary and wary of power, I doubt the distinction that comes from rearranging words—even contracting them—is noted when we consider our power, inner or outer, globally or individually. Usually, we find power and ourselves lacking, somehow; “…the wish for more always issues from a sense of lack” (Nepo).
Yet, there are times when lack results in abundance sans want and wishing. I think of Lily, a dog story of joy ever after because with Lily, lack is always more.
A white-muzzled, chocolate lab kind of canine, Lily found herself at a county animal shelter; she was too old to care for, she was too fat, her hips were bad. Lily lacked everything she needed to continue her life as it was so she began a new life, incrementally.
First, there was Underdog Foundation whose main operations are not in the area Lily lived nor is Underdog usually contacted about dogs like Lily. Underdog provides funds for various rescue operations but it is not involved in any physical rescue nor does it have its own facility so Lily found her funding but no place to be.
Yet, home was always near. Lily was in a county shelter that was part of the network of Second Chance Farms’ sanctuary. The sanctuary takes in older animals of almost all species, offering them forever home for the rest of their lives. Lily would live with dogs, cats, a tortoise, ducks, chickens, a horse named River, two goats, a donkey, and at that time, an opossum.
But with Lily, there was still more.
In under two weeks and entirely unexpectedly, Lily met and fell in love with her permanent foster parents who also care for cats, dogs and horses. At first, Lily slept a lot, as always, but her new life moved fast. With her human mom, Lily learned about her barn, her horses and having all around romps in the barnyard grass. Her personality perked.
Lily was no longer quiet about life. Eagerly, she showed her humans that she could howl like a wolf, if needed, yet with a little eye contact, she was just as capable of carrying on a conversation, of sorts, with humans. Lily being Lily, she ascended to alpha dog in her canine pack of three.
Lily’s family travels quite a bit. In particular, her humans are serious college football fans. In less than six months and in time for her first football season, Lily shed the weight that had been too much for her age and for her hips. She was on her way to a victorious season of football trips, especially the pre-game activities inside and outside the family RV.
When it came time for an extended family wedding, Lily attended, of course, and was included in the official wedding photos. In her first year of so many firsts, Lily’s world of canine and human contact is ever more. Lily no longer lacks for family, for care, for life in any way, a true alpha dog of her canine and human pack.
It’s the kind of story that takes us out of lack into what is best in all of us, canine or human. Lily, lacking all except her ability to be, created a chance for humans to prove they are able, always, to be more.
And that is powerful.
Rhythm of ROW80 Sunday Scheduling:
This week, I begin a month-long workshop with Bob Mayer on Idea and Conflict. For the rest of this round of ROW80, I will work with the idea of my current manuscript so I may actually turn the story into a novel.
Daily, I write for at least 30 minutes, often longer, generating at least 1,000 words per day for blog posts as well as some creative nonfiction.