A Burden?

But I find it hidden deep
Undisturbed, but ready to leap
Requiring nothing more than a word
Dancing about as quick as a bird
Even when I’m so tired
Not going to leave you in the mire

Was reading through the various pins on Pinterest when I came across a description of River Song (from Doctor Who). At the end of the description about her, it mentioned that she had the ‘feistiness of her mother,’ but that she had also ‘inherited the great burden of compassion from her father.’

It made me stop and think about compassion.

Compassion isn’t just something that you give to others, but something that is a part of who you are.

I looked up the word on Google (because my gigantic Webster dictionary (that my family loves and uses as the Last Word on Words) is currently boxed up and in a storage unit two valleys over) and what caught my attention wasn’t the definition given, but the list of synonyms at the end.

Pity sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanitycharity.

Humanity caught my attention, because it made me think of something that I grew up believing. Humanity isn’t something that can be given. It’s isn’t manners or etiquette or anything that is learned. It is something that you are born with even if you don’t recognize it as such. It might not even be something that you feel strongly for in regards to another human. It might only be animals that really stir your heart and mind with tenderness or warmth, but to me, that is still showing humanity.

Now charity is something different and yet the same. It’s all of the words before it and more. It is something that is for others, but because it is for others it also affects us in a way that is difficult to describe. When you show love for others, even if at first you don’t feel it, it changes something inside of you. Practice makes progress after all.

But in the end, charity is something that you have within yourself and it changes the way you think when you are using it for others in a way that doesn’t showcase yourself in any way. Sometimes charity is the ability to forgive and love someone even when they have done you a great wrong.

Because you care more about them than about what they have done.

(This doesn’t mean that you forget it or don’t try and protect yourself. You can forgive without forgetting what happened even if it’s one of the hardest things to do.)

Compassion is a heavy thing to bear, but in my mind it’s kind of like carrying a small child who has fallen asleep. They are heavier asleep than awake because they aren’t helping to hold themselves up at all, but it’s one of the best weights I have ever held.

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Guard Dog

Because
All
Residents
Know I will protect them

This little thing popped into my head while my dog Vincent was chasing a skunk away from the hen house a few minutes ago. He does regular round around the property at night at random, but he spends most of his time either near the hen house or the garage so that no predator, however small, gets to the chickens, ducks, turkeys, or the rabbits. I’m pretty sure he would chase them away from the goats if we could leave their gates open at night.

(I think the only reason Vincent doesn’t get grumpy with us for cutting off his access to the goats is because the goats are bigger than him and aren’t afraid to use their horns on anything that threatens them.)

I guess the biggest difference in his behavior now versus in winter is that he pretty much stays outside all night. In the winter, Vincent would wake someone up (usually me) to let him outside to check on ‘his’ animals and then wanted back in again because it regularly gets below zero here at night in the winter. (The winter of 2016-2017 it actually reached -15 degrees several times. Vincent as a nice thick coat, but it wouldn’t be good for him to be outside in those temperatures for too long.)

And now I’m going to sign off, because I am reaching the tired-rambly stage.

Take a Breath

For I have found my loneliness
Infinite and sure
Now it has left me behind
Dancing away in history’s arms

My go-to thing to help when I am troubled has been music or words my whole life. I’m not talented in music the same way many of my sisters and parents are, but because it’s been such a large part of my childhood it continues to be the thing I turn to. The same for reading and writing. Reading both fiction and nonfiction has helped me center myself when I haven’t been able to sing for one reason or another.

As an adult, I have discovered that those two things, while still important and certainly helpful, haven’t quite been enough at times.

Increasingly, at times.

But the thing I’ve found is that you don’t have to stick to just one or even two things to find peace. And sometimes you need to branch out and find something new in order to stretch your soul.

For me, the last few years gain depth and peace as I have started to research my family history. As I’ve come to know these people that are long since dead, I have found that I feel less alone during the times when, physically, the only others around are my animals.

(Though working in the ground for our plants and spending time taking care of our animals has also brought me a peace I hadn’t thought possible. It has helped to balance and start the healing for my physical problems. There’s nothing quite like having a handful of goatlings sleeping on you while you read. Their warmth and gentle, unconditional love is something so sweet and soft that it can only exist in the hearts of the young of any species.)

This dive into my soul was brought to you by the Dungeon Prompt: The Healing Arts. Some of these things I hadn’t realized were having such an impact on me until I read through the prompt and the challenge it gave.

(laughs at self) I just realized that this is an old prompt. I had a pingback from it earlier today that I hadn’t noticed before and started writing before I even realized what it was about. I just went in and read the prompt and then this post was written before I had realized this. Isn’t it something how the past pops up when you least expect it?