So, I just got back from an early morning dog walk. Although I have itchy mosquito bites all over my legs, it was so worth it.
I couldn’t sleep last night and tried a bunch of things to distract myself from the anxiety I was feeling – cooking, watching movies and TV, listening to music, even taking a hot bath. Nothing really helped. The moment it became reasonable to take Muffy and Teddy for a walk, I decided to. They were a bit confused at first but were more than happy to go.
As I began walking, a bunch of panicky, anxious, “what if,” worst-case-scenario thoughts flew through my head. Lack of sleep surely played a role in that. Feelings of frustration and loneliness washed over me. Trying to ground myself, I looked around and attempted to take in the beauty of the early morning. Birds chirped. I could hear a woodpecker feverishly hammering someone’s tree. An owl hooted its drowsy “good night” to an awakening world.
I looked into a neighbor’s yard as I walked by and was greeted by a beautiful rabbit. It did not scurry away as the dogs and I got closer. It just sat there, looking at us. The meaning was clear to me. This bunny – an animal that holds a special place in my heart – was telling me that I was not alone…not to be afraid…to trust in God and His plan for me.
The sight of that animal made me smile and spread a feeling of warmth in my chest. Unfortunately as I continued to walk, that feeling of contentment disappeared. The feelings of fear crept back in. I started a conversation with God in my head, “I know you just gave me a sign…but the fear is strong. Please send me another sign.” Honestly, my expectations were low. I had asked God for signs before…and rarely got them (not immediately at least). The dogs and I had reached the other side of the neighborhood. I looked into someone else’s yard.
And there was a rabbit…sitting like a little garden statue in the middle of the lawn. My heart leapt up into my throat. What was the likelihood of that?! Tears welled up in my eyes and I let out a “thank you” under my breath.
The feelings of anxiety had floated far away. I focused on trying to get Muffy and Teddy to “do their business” while swatting away mosquitos. As we rounded the front of the neighborhood, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I squinted a bit…my now EXTREMELY tired (and spectacle-less) eyes trying to make out a small grayish-brown form.
I almost let out a laugh. No freakin’ way. I walked home shaking my head, feeling connected and loved and far less alone.
As I think about it all now, I realize…God gets me. He gets my fear, he gets my doubt, and he gets my sense of humor. He made sure I got that sign… not once, BUT THREE TIMES.
If I hadn’t decided to be present in my surroundings…to actively be mindful, I could have missed those sweet bunnies.
So, my point in sharing this story is to remind people that they are never alone. No matter how scared or sad or alone you may feel, you are part of something bigger. God (or the Universe or whatever higher power you believe in) has a plan for you. Pay attention to the world around you and it just may speak to you.
Also, early morning walks are good for the soul. Clearly.
Take Care All,