July 26, 2021

“The Lord lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive.”

Psalm 23:2, Common English Bible

Kiko, our border collie, has been boarded a lot recently due to our travels. So far in his 11+ years of life, going to the kennel seems to be a fun experience for him. I imagine he feels safe and loved and gets lots of attention while boarding.

He’ll know something is up when I pack the red shopping tote bag with his food, and he’ll stick extra close to me until he hears the magic words, “Go for a ride.” Tail wagging, he rushes to the garage and as soon as I open the rear liftgate, he hops into the back. When we arrive at our destination, he hops out and as soon as we enter the kennel, his tail starts wagging. When the attendant comes to get him, his entire body seems to be wagging, and he walks away from me without so much as a glance back at me.

When I retrieve him days later, he greets me much the same way, and promptly falls asleep in the rear of the car, worn out from his vacation. As soon as we arrive home, I let him out in the yard to do his business, and then he comes in and sleeps some more.

Last week after I collected him from the kennel and drove him home, par for the course, I let him out upon our return. This time I paused to watch. Kiko trotted to the grass beyond our deck, lay down, rolled onto his back, and proceeded to scratch and rub his back in the grass for a full three minutes. I understood the body language and sighed to myself, “home.”

This was no quick gesture, but a full-bodied, unrushed savoring of being home. I want to do the same. Not roll in the grass (that would make me itchy and sneezy), but simply sink with my whole being into the space I occupy and savor the moment of coming home to my embodied self, to rest in place long enough to stretch my spine, breath in and out, and rest, if only for a few minutes.

Be still and know. ~ Anne

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