Thursday, December 2, 2010

Saying "Yes" to the Universe... and Black Cats

On October 12 I took a vacation day from work. It was the day after Canadian Thanksgiving and a glorious weekend for fall colours. Taking inspiration from my friend Barbara, I'm trying to say "yes" to more.

Taking off on my own, I went - armed with my camera - to Riverdale Farm (more on that in a later post), which is in the middle of Toronto's Cabbagetown district.

The colours were outstanding. The sky was never bluer.

Across from the farm is the St. James' Necropolis.

I stepped inside the crematorium chapel, which was quiet and dark, almost a relief from the blinding sunshine and reflective leaves all around me.

I sat for a while, thinking. I thought about the fading away of my faith and how it might be reborn in a different form. I pondered my reading on Buddhism and particularly on meaningful meditation. Each morning on waking, prompted by what I have read, I whisper to myself, "This might be the day I die. Today... is a good day to be alive."

I thought of how my mind is too full of ideas and the future and the past. And I conciously (almost out loud, but not quite) said to myself: "How I would love 10 minutes, just now, to be completely in the present."

At that very moment I heard a small miaow. And a little black face with big green eyes popped in from the side door of the chapel. A young black cat, more teenager than kitten, came running down the aisle, hopped onto my lap and, purring, climbed all over me. I was enchanted. As he settled onto my lap, purring and making puddings with his paws, I thought, "Hold it, I've just been practically accosted by a black cat in a crematorium." Well I'm not superstitious but I did say something out loud. "Well, cat, if this is my last moment, if I'm about to drop dead, you know... it's okay. This is pretty good."

He continued purring, and I continued petting him. As he'd been climbing over my shoulders and down into my lap I got a couple of blurry pictures of him.

And then he dropped off my lap and gave himself a bit of a wash before looking back at me...

... and headed out the front door of the chapel. This was my last picture of him.

I'd asked the universe for 10 minutes of being in the present, right in the moment. I got them. And I don't know what happened that day, if I became more open to the gifts of the universe , or just a happier person, or was visited by a very sweet spirit in the body of a young cat, I just know that life has been better since then than ever, however many hours, days or years I have left.

There will be more thoughts on this, I'm sure, in later posts.


Tess Kincaid said...

Don't you love when messages come in small packages? Beautiful post.

LadyCat said...

Oh my...that is amazing! You did have your time being completely in the moment. Animals demand your attention and definetly keep you in the present. He was a cute little guy. We have 2 black cats and they are not bad luck : )
The stained glass window in your photo is absolutely beautiful. It sounds like a good trip for some soul searching.
Have a good weekend!

Hilarywho said...

Lovely photos & amazing moment - thanks for sharing it.

Blog Princess G said...

Tess: I loved this one!

LadyCat: He was a stunner with very green eyes. Thanks for the visit!

Arcadian said...

Ciao, I am an Italian American. My people are from Calabria. We should hit it off well and I hope you will visit my weblogs too, Princess G.

Molto piacere.

Blog Princess G said...

Welcome Arcadian and thank you for the comment! I shall certainly check out your blogs. :)