It has been a long time since I have played this agility game I love. Not so long as an eon or an eternity, but, fifteen months (so far) without a dog beside me that loves the geometry and poetry of the lines and the motions to master them as much as me, is long enough already. I miss Shepherd’s Pie, too. Meat, veggie, potatoes, cheese and gravy. Seriously, a concoction of delicious (my choice, I know there are others with other views!).
The day will come again, each day is one day nearer, I tell myself. Be patient. Be aware in today’s choices, it is tasty, all in itself. My Happiness (for that is what he is) will not be old enough to legally give this sport a go for another year at least. So, I wait. And, enjoy.
To pass the time, I’ve begun revisiting photos from the roadtrips and adventures of my experience. (I did not look at them for this short term eon, it hurt too much, but I find now, it’s okay). There are plenty of photos of ribbons and reminders of success, but those have begun to feel like they belong to someone else, not to the me that I am (becoming?) today.
I’m not the handler that can tell you about a course I ran 5 years ago, about the turns and the challenges and my handling. Once I run a course, it falls out of my head. On to the next one. I admire athletes that can describe a run from a decade ago in its entirety. I cannot. A jump or two, perhaps, or a finish line, but, that is all.
I can, however, tell you about the courses that I visualize for my future. I can tell you about the colors of the jumps in the internalized TV screen in my head, of the footing and of the feeling of the flow and the flawless timing of my imagined runs. Of the exhilaration as I swagger to the startline, or, blast past the finish. Runs of the past served their purpose, I learned from them, and they live in my subconscious, where they have settled in as the foundation to support me today without me knowing it. I do not need to call them out in my “now.” They were. Today I AM, and tomorrow, they will help me be.
I am using this time to remind myself of the “why” of my game. Ribbons and accolades are wonderful and serve as roadtrip markers. They validate my desire and confirm my belief in myself. They give me reason to value the effort. They are “rewards,” with little real meaning to anyone but me.
In the photo album of my life, it’s the travels (near and far, day to day and of duration) that stand out. And, the people I meet. And, of course, the Shepherd’s Pie.
So, I remind myself: Always look for a place with homemade Shepherds Pie on the menu to share with friends (or, sushi, if that’s your fav. Maybe a vegan burger or two, go green). Stop the car often, because I might find the doppelganger of Mayberry’s Aunt Bea offering coffee in a fast food chain, and wouldn’t that be a delicious take out? But, most of all, get out and enjoy the roads my feet are on today. The ones behind me brought me to this moment, in order for me to continue to move forward.
And, if I do, I will find unexpected Joy to make me Happy. And, the best Shepherd’s Pie I could ever imagine. Though, it will be tough to beat the ones that I’ve had already. (Have I mentioned I like Shepherd’s Pie???)