Don’t let the title fool you . . .  because this post is prescheduled and because I will not write about Christmas in the traditional way, mainly because it isn’t today (as in “today, when I’m actually writing this text”) and also because everybody writes about Christmas these days, so I thought that a change would be good. Therefore I’ll write about the things that are going through my mind in this moment.

It’s rather early now, while I’m writing this, and the only company I have at this time is that of my dog, Bella, who constantly pushes me with her nose, in search for my hand. And while I caress her and look at her, I cannot help seeing the need for love in her eyes. She’s a member of our family for about ten years now (which is a lot of time for a dog) and everybody loves her. Some would say she’s been lucky. And the thought that pops in my mind now is “why do animals need to be lucky in order for people to love them”?

What did animals (in general) ever do wrong in order to deserve the harsh treatment given to them by certain representatives of the human species (otherwise nothing else than some supposedly evolved mammals)? Think about the stray dogs or cats, the experiments on mice and monkeys and other animals, the cruel hunting parties menacing with extinction certain species, and the list could go on.

I was asking myself at some point in time what is the purpose of flies – I honestly can’t stand them, and I’m sure that most of you can say the same – and a friend of mine told me that they simply are food for birds, and it’s good that they exist, because otherwise the birds would have to find food from other sources, and who knows what those would be?! His answer left me thinking. We already know that, should bees be extinct, everybody, but EVERYBODY on the face of the planet would have to suffer, that affected would be the ecosystem. The fact that we haven’t yet found out the hidden purpose of some animal, insect or plant doesn’t mean that it has none. It simply means that our understanding is still VERY limited. And that should make us cautious, careful, when interacting with all the life forms on our planet. And first of all with the planet itself – the biggest living organism with which we ever interacted directly.

I once bumped into a highly caustic text which stated that “should any animal species go extinct, so would the rest of life on earth, but should humankind go extinct, life on this planet would flourish.” Now, I like to think that we’re not THAT indispensable on this planet – such thought would be too painful. But what if we are? This acid poison of the “what if” should make us all stop for a second from what we’re doing and ponder. Maybe then we’d realize that it isn’t the dog that is lucky for having lived with us for ten years, but we are the lucky ones, having had for ten years such a loyal and loving friend. We are the lucky ones to have been born on a planet with so much potential, a place of such an indescribable beauty. We are the lucky ones to benefit from all the resources of this splendid parent we call Mother Earth. And we should all be thankful for that.

I think it’s not that bad, to see your luck in the eyes of a loving dog, on a Saturday morning :). Merry Christmas to all of you!

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© 2013 Liliana Negoi

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The text is mine, the image (my dog, Bella) was taken some years ago by a very dear friend of mine, Mihai :).

IMG_7667LILIANA NEGOI  (Endless Journey and in Romanian curcubee în alb şi negru) ~ is a member of our core team on Into the Bardo. She is the author of three published volumes of poetry in English, which is not her mother tongue but one that she came to love especially because of writing: Sands and Shadows, Footsteps on the San – tanka collection and The Hidden Well.  The last one can also be heard in audio version, read by the author herself on her SoundCloud site HERE.  Many of her creations, both poetry and prose, have been published in various literary magazines.

5 thoughts on “On Christmas

  1. I love the slant of this piece, Lily, and your very valid point of appreciating the company of other animals … And it’s interesting that so often while we value the animals that are our companions at home, we don’t value the animals that live in the wild or on farms and we cause so much suffering to them and damage to the earth from our treatment of them. And, you are right, we don’t know the purpose of many animals … in fact, do we really understand the purpose of the human animal? … and we don’t the what the meaning is behind the suffering that is a part of nature with nothing we can do about it. We can only do the best we can do, which is not to cause any harm ourselves and to value the companionship of other animals on this planet and in our homes, not to come from of position of “dominion” but one of care. Lovely, lovely post … and beautiful pup.

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  2. Love this. Love my dogs and often question the purpose of mosquitoes, flies and earwigs. Have you read “Dog Song,” a book of poetry by Mary Oliver…one of my husband’s Christmas gifts to me this year. Only I think it was signed Sparky and Zoe. My dogs are quite smart but not good at sticking to a budget. :0) Happy New Year, all.

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  3. That’s a very different take on a common theme, Liliana. I like this perspective where humans should perhaps consider themselves privileged to be in the company of other animals. As one, who has had the company of dogs and cats in my home for many years, I can identify with this.

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