Beltane                                            Waxing Plating Moon

Her crate is cleaned.  Her body taken for cremation.  The bowl in which I fed her has joined the other big bowls, no longer needed for our smaller whippets.  Emma was a big girl, tall and ropy muscled in her prime.  There is still, or do I imagine it, a faint odor of death, a sweet sick smell, not decay.   Hilo and Kona, who’ve known only life with Emma, appear subdued, but it’s never clear to me how much dogs grieve, although I know they do.

Driving back from the vets this  morning, I realized, as I have before, but never quite like this time, that the moments of life are precious and fleeting.  When life ends, whatever, if anything (and I doubt it) happens, happens in a manner  out of conjunction with this reality.

I resolved to get out in the beautiful Anoka County parks more, to wander the back roads and wild areas here as I have in the past, but have largely given up.  Not sure why.  Emma may not have been human, but she was loved and loving, a mammal, warm blooded, feeling, a thinker, conscious of her own life, and her death reminds me of these gifts, the true and miraculous, the precious, and yes, the sacred gifts of life itself.

A thinker I’m becoming more acquainted with wants to redefine sacred as the emergent properties in the world.  Life is emergence at its most complex, its most mysterious, its most wonderful.  What is emergence?  It is the remarkable, unexpected something more when the sum of our body’s chemical components come together as a vital organism.  We’re not worth much, broken down into our chemical constituents, but with life we become a treasure, a unique contribution to the ongoing fabric of the universe.

To that understanding of the sacred I say, “Namaste.”

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