When we invite creatures into our human world we open new experiences that show us what it can mean to be alive. I couldn't imagine living in an empty, pet-free home. Animals live with their own perceptions, directions, and values that remind us that the human brain misses a lot of life's nuances when left to its own devices. Inter-species communication goes beyond the verbal,cerebral human world. It is just energy from being to being. Looking into my dog Tilly's eyes gives me a message stronger than anything he could tell me if he could talk. Having some creatures that do talk only adds icing to the cake. Watching the Quakers build their little nest structures and collect things from my kitchen that they want to keep, such as earrings, pens, paint brushes, etc. -- shows a unique streak of self-determination and personality. Hearing Hapi meow like Seamus or bark exactly like Tilly (and then say "Stop it!") is evidence of what he hears and experiences in his own little bird brain. He has memories and thoughts, just like us, Even the miscreant Toby shows a great deal of personality and self-determination. Though I would like to see him do less of that!
So, as this quiet and gentle Sunday morning ramps up into a day full of to-do's, I'm glad to take the time to stop and appreciate the little zoo I live with. Most people probably couldn't stand it -- but to me, it is just perfect (except for Toby, that is...!)
What will you make today?