The canine art of joy

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 in Spiritual living

Finn with old and new tennis balls

Finn with old and new tennis balls

The joy of tennis balls

While we’ve been travelling, my dog Finn has naturally developed his own magical interchange and relationship with the places we visit. His particular connection seems to involve tennis balls, which are one of his great passions. Bear with me……

What has been happening over the months is that he keeps finding tennis balls wherever we go. They stay with us for a few days, get played with rapturously and transported to new pastures with us, and then he loses them again. It’s as if we’re only borrowing them for a while before they make their way to their next lucky owner. I love the idea of the serendipitous meeting with us which means the ball gets moved to its next location where it can bestow yet another round of joy.

Over time this theme has developed. On the Dover coast, we actually got to see the “pay it forward” type motion in action. Walking down the steeply wooded cliff path to the beach, Finn dropped his ball so it rolled down and disappeared into the undergrowth at the bottom. Try as we might, we couldn’t find it but a chunky stick served as a satisfactory replacement while we carried on with our explorations. On the way back, a couple of hours later, we were just in time to see another dog reach the bottom of the same cliff path, snout out the tennis ball from the tangle of plants, and pelt off in ecstasy to show his family his brilliant find. It made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Sure enough, the very next place we visited produced another ball for Finn. And so it’s continued.

Recently this tennis ball phenomena reached new heights. We were playing with our latest one, and noticed that it was just about to give up the ghost and split in two, having been hurled enthusiastically innumerable times and submitted to several affectionate chewing sessions. Not one second after George voiced this fact, Finn came bounding up with a perfectly intact tennis ball! So now, apparently, they’re available on instant cosmic order. Who needs Amazon?!

More and more, I see how much I have to learn from my faithful faerie hound.

Canine wisdom

What’s the learning I gain from watching this doggy miracle? These experiences teach that joy comes freely, when it is enjoyed to the full but held onto lightly and shared openly with others. Finn knows instinctively that if joy (the ball) disappears, it’s only for a short while before it returns – effortlessly and inevitably. He understands there must be shadows between the light, and he enjoys whatever else is around to play with until another ball appears. No moping or mourning for what’s been lost, no striving for what will surely come naturally. And always, always, when he finds a tennis ball he welcomes it with his whole heart and with undiminished excitement and gratitude, as if it’s never happened before.

What a Finn-tastic way to live! You can check into your own “tennis ball of joy” barometer by asking yourself the following questions.

How joyful are you?

Do you trust the universe to bring you joyful experiences? Or do you feel you have to work for them, strive to find it?

When you have something that brings you joy, do you cling to it selfishly, fearing its loss? Or do you share it with others and let it go easily?

Are you as satisfied with the shadow times, able to appreciate the blessings you do have (however small)? Or do you tend to focus only on what you don’t have or the memory of what you’ve lost?

Are you genuinely welcoming and grateful for the miraculous joys life has to offer every day? Or have you become cynical and jaded, taking things for granted?

May you enjoy your life to the full, and – in the words of a canine Celtic blessing – may there always be an abundance of tennis balls along your path!

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Semele Xerri

© Semele Xerri is a psychic intuitive healer, animal communicator, and Reiki Master Teacher. To find out more about her and her services, go to her Work with me page.

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