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Every late afternoon of his life that both weather & mom permitted, my first dog Jake first sat, later lay, on a west-facing pasture slope and silently watched the sun set behind surrounding forest.

He died at 2:30 pm on Easter Sunday 2017, in his back yard overlooking his pasture doing what he loved best; gazing lovingly at his new best friend, Dr. Elms, as she eased him out of this life & into the next. He had refused to go to sleep for an hour, even after 3 full doses of sedative. I think he knew if he closed his eyes he wouldn't open them again. Finally she said this isn't doing any of us any good & injected the lethal dose. His eyes closed, breathing & heart stopped immediately.

A few hours later doing barn chores, as I passed over his sunset watch spot I felt him whoosh! into my heart and heard his squeaky voice exclaim "I can fly with the birds now mommy!"

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Sweet, sweet Jake! And such a moving tribute -- thank you for this piece of beauty. You are convincing me that reverence is possible for all creatures.

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

I felt your story in my heart.

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Me, too

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Yes, that's it Tonika. Thanks for speaking the words.

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Reverence. It’s become my favourite word. It’s almost onomatopoeic. I’m BG, surrounded by gulls on the beach, people often get out of the water, turn to the sun, eyes closed, palms turned up towards it, and just stand there. Yes, to dry off, but if you actually do it, you feel this energy enter you. It’s meditative. It’s strange, at first, it almost looks cultish when you see a bunch of people doing it. But you’re filled with reverence too if you practice it yourself.

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It IS almost onomatopoeic. Just saying it creates it. Wow, Tonika... I would love to experience Bulgarian reverence en masse like that! Bulgaria seems like such a cool place. Thank you for this glimpse into a place so dear to your heart; I'm starting to understand why ❤️

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Sep 11, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Haha, well, it’s been on my mind, hopefully I’m not bringing it up too much. It just made an impression on me, ya know!

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No! Not too much at all! (And I'd tell you if I thought so. We're THAT kind of friends.😉) Bring it up and bring it on...

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Sep 11, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

A brave call for imagination and reverence Mary - a brave cry of 'enough'!

Perhaps we have reached a state in which more people will be receptive to it...

In any case, your poems are always oxygen for me!

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That is my dearest hope, Michael. We have definitely run this materialist train to the very end of its track. It's time for a new model, a new way of seeing and living, as you are oft to remind us. And ooh! Oxygen?? Can there be higher praise than that?? xox

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Sep 11, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

After I read your poem, Mary, I took one deep breath, that was as satisfying as if I had finally figured out the key to the mystery of life., and it was oh so simple. What had I been stressing about anyway?

Thanks for reading that piece I sent you. xox

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Rocket, that's about as satisfying a comment as I could wish for. Thank you. it's so funny, isn't it, the things that wrap us around the axle? Time always sifts our priorities for us.

Thanks for sending it to me! xox

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Sep 12, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Thanks, Mary. Your poem reminded me of the words from another song, from the Sound of Music, "nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could..." So there's that, right?

And yes, we do get all wound up with all manner of things to worry about. What comes to mind now is another quote from the story of Martha and "Mary", no less. "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” I think that describes you too, dear Mary P. McL.

XOX

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Oh Rocket... this comment came at just the right time. No joke. I found myself second-guessing everything: choices, priorities, focus, you name it. When I read your comment, a kindred deep breath to yours filled my lungs and left me feeling a welcome peace. How marvelous we can give each other oxygen, no?

I wrote this down: "few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." You may see that as a description; I see it more as an aspiration. Either way, the peace I feel when reading it is real. Thank you.

Xox and more xox, M

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Sep 15, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

..."give each other oxygen." Wow! that is beautiful. I'm so glad that my after-thought of a comment was meaningful to you. I almost didn't send it because it was late, but now I see it was actually "on time". No doubt about it, God does work in mysterious ways. More peace and more XOX to you too.

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

I think you're on to something, Mary... I reread Jonathan Livingston Seagull lately; quite possibly one of the best philosophical books on existentialism ever written :) Seagulls deserve more credit. xoxo

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I need to reread that book, Sara. And I agree 😊. xox!

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Sep 30, 2023·edited Sep 30, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Thanks for the reference, Sara, I will have to go back and re-read that as well.

But I just had to jump in and add a second, though less well-known book to the short list, one I had mentioned in a recent post introduced by Mary ... Aldo Leopold's "A Sand County Almanac".

I don't want to use this comment to market a favorite read, Mary's poem just made me remember the reverence for all things wild — a major theme of the book. For just a taste of his style of prose, the last paragraph of "October, Too Early" ...

"Getting up too early is a vice habitual in horned owls, stars, geese, and freight trains. Some hunters acquire it from geese, and some coffee pots from hunters. It is strange that of all the multitude of creatures who must rise in the morning at some time, only these few should have discovered the most pleasant and least useful time for doing it."

Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac (Galaxy Books) (p. 59). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Thanks Mary, for bringing a bit of my past up to date with the present.

steve

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

I feel your words... they resonate.

I love your style of writing.

Thank you.

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I'm grateful for the comment, Mj. So kind.

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Beautiful! 💕

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Sep 13, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

I almost missed this in my Inbox, Mary, and I'm so glad I didn't. So lovely and true. 💙

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Sep 11, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Having read some more of the comments, I am reminded of a personal story. My sister used to have a Gordon Setter. Big, bouncy, manic kind of dog. One day I visited her with my mother, who was old and frail and quite near the end after struggling a couple of years to recover from a car accident. She moved slowly over to a chair by the window and lowered herself into it. The dog (Frankie) became very quiet, moved very slowly and gently across to my mother and laid her head in her lap as if she were trying not to break eggshells. Then she stood there, head in my mothers lap, full of feeling, and apparently ensuring that she didn't even let the weight of her head rest there fully. I have never seen an animal so gentle and caring and .... reverent. Especially one so usually wildly bouncy. But who am I to imagine, in the face of the skeptics, that she was feeling anything? Ha! Enough, enough.

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Michael, this story brought tears. Thank you SO much for sharing it with us. It's absolutely perfect, a poem of grace in itself.🙏🏼

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Sep 11, 2023Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

I love, love, love this. The belonging-ness of the gulls, the unremarkable magic happening in nothing happening.

Beautiful, Mary.

Reverence reorients us back to earth as the natural beings we are. Thank you.

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Yes, exactly.

I"m always stunned by how saying a small blessing over my food changes everything -- my mood, my relationship to the food and the earth that made it, even my pace of eating it. Reverence is an immediate re-orientation.

Thank you for the comment, Kathleen. ❤️

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