A couple of years ago, before I grew possessive of my time, I met Teeny and Bounder every time I visited the local shopping complex. Now I go with a fixed agenda and shopping list to check off, avoiding everything that might distract me, especially my two excitable dog friends, who demand a good half hour of love before they are ready to stop squealing and let me on my way.
The last time I allowed myself the time to meet them, Bounder looked miserable. We had noticed his skin disease earlier -- Rahul had given him a course of medicine -- but how it had deteriorated unnoticed! Now, half a minute did not pass when he did not scratch himself desperately; he had little hair left; even his eyes were red and itchy.
I wept on my walk back. How important is all this work I am busy with, how important is anything I do, if I haven’t the space to be in touch with and respond to other beings around me? How does one fit everything into these tumbling days without smothering all that that waits quietly around the corners - indistinct, unplanned, but precious beyond words?
Photograph: the lake at The Valley School