The Blyss Days with Jelly of July 2015

There seems to be no end to joy as Jelly is my constant companion and loneliness, my most constant challenge, is banished by her mere existence.  Boredom, another bane, is kept at bay by our frequent destinations together to the Watchung Reservation.   I do not seem to disappoint her as I find interesting trails for us to hike.    I manage to find trails that make a round loop so we do not have to turn around and turn back the way we came.   I am also good at finding trails that pass fields abundant with wild flowers and being July 1st, these fields are a robust panoply of blossoms.   And I know they will remain so through summer and into early fall.  Why, you might ask, am I made so happy by such a simple pleasure?  The reason is very simple to explain.  I worked during many fine summers throughout my adult life, days full of fresh air and sunshine.  Instead, they were days spent in long commutes to buildings with windows sealed shut and recirculated air.  I prayed at the time I would someday have the chance to enjoy the outdoors someday.   Now that I am retired, I do.

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Still, my mind is never at rest or peace.  Demon daggers still rise up out of the ashes of the past to wound me.  Where, I wonder, was my mother when I needed her the most?  Why did she say what she said, and do what she did to me?  It was so pointless and unnecessary.  She recently died.  Before she did, she spent several months apologizing for how badly she treated me, and righting many wrongs.  But she lingered only a short time.  We only had three short months to love one another and be happy together.  It’s sad, but as a child I remember hearing her say how much she did not want to “spoil” her children, and she believed, “You should only kiss your children when they sleep.”  It is sad to me she lived those beliefs, and now she loves us, my sister and me, but it is she who is asleep forever.  -During our three months of reconciliation, one of the saddest parts was that I did not have a borzoi at the time, so she never got to meet any of the Blyss borzoi, or even Jelly, whom I have had since February this year.   Some things are just wretched, and this story is one of them.  I wish I could think of my mother with more peace, but she is still a subject that recalls too much pain.

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Sometimes I wonder how my mother has affected me.  I know I am always good to Jelly, but I am not always good to other people, such as my sister or my boyfriend.  I can be mean, too.  I believe being with Jelly makes me better, makes me a better person, makes we want to give more of myself because I must give so much to her, as if she were a baby.  And, Jelly makes me happy and she calms me down when I might otherwise be tense, depressed or lonely.  But I know I am a very flawed person who has had many fractured relationships in my life and many have been my fault.  I have even lost most of my girl friends in recent years and I don’t even miss them or give a damn about them one bit.  If people do not touch upon my lifestyle centered around my borzoi, it is hard for me to care.  The only exception is my activities with my Church that means a great deal to me.  Perhaps prayer or activities centered on church life, in addition to my happy times with Jelly, are the only safe zones for me going forward.  I feel more secure in these arena, happier, less likely to stumble and fall, or crash and burn.

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It is critical for one’s equanimity to find emotional safe zones  to achieve serenity.  Perhaps it is through pet ownership, being in nature, academic or career accomplishments, or achievement of cherished goals.  For me, it is to step onto that trail, the special one beneath the sheltering canopy of interlocking leaves, walking in the dimension of ancient places like Watchung Reservation and all the  ridges of the Watchung Moutains in North Central New Jersey that rise up from the sea.