Change is on the horizon, as always, but at times, it seems palpable even audible. Change is on the horizon rumbles from my gut and I know its knell will summon until I shed my skin. Even my morning meditation  from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening is entitled “Shedding”:

“…when we cease to shed what’s dead in us in order to soothe the fear of others, we remain partial. When we cease to surface our most sensitive skin simply to avoid conflict with others, we remove ourselves from all that is true” (Nepo).

Cooper on a bye-bye

I smile as I read “…such renewal will, sooner or later, [force us] to undergo transformation anyway” (Nepo).

I am so grateful for metaphor, for synchronicity yet still I squirm as my mind nudges close to the word surrender, never an easy concept for me. However, I am able to admit that less and less, control seems necessary so I settle in with regenerate and rebirth. I breathe.

In this way, we begin our day, and Cooper is ready for “bye-bye in the car.”

My meditation stays with me as I drive us to a new park, one we had “scouted” last winter. Quiet pond with a bridge, Ponderosa pines, live oaks, dogwood– each so grand in its own being– together they are a choir  for all seasons.

We are excited to explore, for the park and day are fresh with promise, with scents for both of us. Cooper sets his snout to tracking scent after scent as I make sure scent is all he finds. Cooper keeps me present, as do most beagles, I suspect.

Together, we stare at a lumbering turtle making its way from the pond, lifting one foot and then another, its shell shifting with each step, adjusting as necessary, purpose in motion, a rhythm steady and sure.

Cooper takes us here and there until he tires, which he does rather quickly these days so he takes us to a bench, not uncommon for him. Early on in our relationship, he indicated a fondness for benches, and while he no longer jumps up to sit beside me or in my lap, he is content to rest against my foot, making sure I stay.

I sit back and my morning meditation of shedding and renewal returns amidst this spring splendor. Everywhere, everything is coming to life as Cooper snores.

Just beyond us, there is a large black and yellow garter snake making its way away–sleek and sure—a symbol of eternity, of transformation and healing that so freely sheds its skin for life’s renewal, inviting the risk that comes with wearing a new skin.

There is a lifetime in this moment, as always.

ROW80 Wednesday Summary 

Sometimes, all I have to do is  consider the word goal and my entire being rises up in rebellion. My ego tells me—pretty much nonstop– goals are contradictory to the Tao and being, all nonsense but then what else is the ego?

April 4, 2012 is the start date for my second round of ROW80 goals, and they are located on a separate page that you may view here. In many ways, these goals are a new skin for me.