My brother is besotted. Molly is his everything: the love of his life, the girl of his dreams, the one he’s waited for forever. When I phoned my dad on Father’s Day, my mother asked if I could call back, as they had company. When I did, Dad said, “Your brother was just here with his wife…” My mind reeled: when and whom did he marry? Dad continued, “That’s how it seems, anyway. He cuddles her and kisses her, she licks him, and it’s just like they’re married.”
Molly is a Boston Terrier.
After numerous ruptured relationships, my brother at 51 did something he’d yearned to do since we were children: adopted a puppy. He had to completely reinvent his life in order to accommodate her: move to a place that allowed dogs, arrange for doggie daycare near his work, and perhaps most significantly, get used to getting up and out the door at the crack of dawn to walk her (a major shift for a notoriously nocturnal guy!). He lavishes Molly with all the love that’s been building inside him these years that he (so far) hasn’t had the opportunity to bestow on a child, a wife, or an enduring partnership.
I love my dad’s sense of humor about my brother’s and Molly’s relationship, though in a way what he says is true: We all want somebody to love, as Grace Slick (and later the Blues Brothers) sang. If human companionship repeatedly fails to deliver this favor, and we’ve pined for a dog, well, half a century of corked affection pouring out in waves isn’t all that surprising.
And Molly is so easy to love: always delighted to see him, always happy with him, never complaining, arguing, giving him the cold shoulder or a hostile glare. She also shares his bed, and never has a headache. No wonder it sounds like a match made in heartdom: on Independence Day, my brother emailed, “It’s raining here at the moment, but I have my little Munchkin curled up on the couch bringing me all the sunshine I need.” Cue the theme from every schmaltzy movie ever made…
While I’m more of a cat person, I’ve cared for many species of furry friends over the years as a house- and pet sitter, a role I fell into thirteen years ago when I agreed to pet sit one weekend for a stained glass artist. She kept a small domestic menagerie — two large dogs, four cats, five bunnies, two horses, two birds, two fish ponds, and a goat — and wanted to take her mom out for an 8Oth birthday celebration. A friend of hers whom I’d met a few weeks before recommended me as someone she’d “trust with her animals in a heartbeat.” So I happily housesat for her mini Mendocino farm in exchange for a stunning piece of stained glass art, and soon I was accepting pet sitting engagements from other homeowners who were delighted to find a mature, non-smoking woman to care for their animal companions while they traveled.
But except for a brief period when I lived in a rural cottage and a semi-feral cat I named Gaia adopted me, I’ve not had animal companions of my own. (Just miniature turtles, very briefly, as a kid.) Yet I loved Gaia with the same wild heart my brother evinces towards Molly.
There’s something untamed and untamable about pure love, an atavistic call to our primal selves. I imagine it’s what every new mother of any species feels for her infant, whether a human child, a kitten, or a bear cub. Calling forth this lovelight, allowing the “filling up and spilling over,” of Cris Williamson’s Waterfall, is the embodiment of joy, the reason we’re here.
This is also what awakening looks like: a call to open our hearts to higher love. During my own unfolding journey, I fell in love with the Moon, and with Nature in general. In the depths of despair I threw my arms around trees, and felt them hugging me back.
I began extending this heart opening everywhere: to people, circumstances and even objects I’d never given much thought to before. I realized the animating force of existence resides in all, and as such, everything deserves to be treated with what Buddhists call loving-kindness. (If you doubt the veracity of this idea, try speaking cruelly to your car or computer for a while, and see how well it performs for you.)
On the far side of my awakening odyssey, longing for someone to love, I drew a man into my life and wove a story of forever around us, even as the signposts pointed to a very different outcome. Still, the brief time we spent together altered us both utterly, in an expansive way that took me a lot longer to understand and integrate than it did him!
So if you haven’t a partner or a child or a Molly in your life and yearn to pour your love out to another, consider opening your heart to the world as lover (as futurist Joanna Macy invites us to do); your gift will be embraced and returned a thousand-fold. Everything is sentient; every being responds to love.
In this fulcrum moment, with Love more robustly the answer than ever before, the “somebody to love” most deeply is ourselves; we then have an overflow to gift the planet, from our own wellspring.
© 2012 Amara Rose. All rights reserved.
Amara Rose Bio:
Amara Rose is a “midwife” for our global rebirth. She offers personal and business alchemy, content creation, telegatherings and e-courses to accelerate your evolutionary journey. Learn more at LiveYourLight.com, where you can also subscribe to her inspirational e-newsletter, What Shines.
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