By Brandy Browne
Around a year ago, our big tomcat disappeared. This was directly before the COVID 19 crisis began. I looked for him for quite a while, but, seeing as how we live in the country, I figured that something had gotten to him. He is quite the ladies’ man. I figured that his love of the ladies had put him in the crosshairs of an animal much larger than he. Imagine my shock to find him waiting for me by my front porch when I returned from my walk around the lake yesterday.
I let him tentatively sniff my hand. Once I felt he would let me get close, I examined him. He was wet, grungy, and covered in scars and scabbed over wounds that must have been fairly recent. His muscles were hardened from a year of adventuring and not lounging on the couch every day. Those eyes, though. Big and bright, they have always been expressive.
We spent the day yesterday getting reacquainted. He lounged on my bed, and by the end of the night, he had moved back to his familiar spot on my chest, purring loudly and kneading his pawns back and forth on me. He slept on an old baby blanket, and chatted to anyone that would walk by during the night.
As I watched him slip back into his familiar self, loving and carefree, I couldn’t help but think what a metaphor for the last twelve months this situation is. Almost a year ago, our lives were forever changed. This year, we’ve been banged up a bit, and we are definitely walking out with scars on our bodies and our hearts. But, we’re still there…still the same in many ways…longing to share our love and light with others. It just takes love and trust to bring it back out in us.
As this chapter in our lives continues to evolve, a “new normal” will come to fruition. The battles we have fought and the scars we have been left with will definitely play a role in determining what that normal looks like. The lessons that I learned about myself and what I am capable of will not be forgotten. I hope, though, that we won’t let the last year harden our hearts. May we be loving and may the strategies we had to invent to be able to share love be another tool in our toolbox. Our futures will be built with all the tools we have acquired, and the world is truly limitless. COVID forced us to figure out work arounds for so many situations, and it is my fervent prayer that that knowledge gained will propel us forward to continue to be innovative problem solvers.
Long story short, may we all be a little more like my war torn cat. Rough and tough on the outside, resilient, and ever full of love to give, even when faced with harsh circumstances. His name is Ruckus, which, when defined, means, a disturbance or a commotion. Cause a joyful Ruckus wherever you go. May the healing begin…