The last two weeks have been a roller coaster. This morning I sit with our newly diagnosed “diabetic” cat, the smaller, brown and white one, whom I shall call Brownie, sprawled across my lap. His steady purr rumbles gently, his tail languidly lifts and curls, and his paws knead the air. Breakfast time and the prick of the morning insulin dose have been accomplished and I, too, can relax.
The big white cat (“Fluffy”), the one who’s suffered recurring bouts of prolonged, extreme digestive illness over the last two years, dozes in the sun in my bedroom.
Brownie leaves my lap and strolls toward the kitchen. Thinking he might be hungry, I follow him, open the fridge door, and ask if he wants food. Big-eyed, he slinks into the other room and crouches in a far corner. It belatedly occurs to me that he may associate the refrigerator with insulin. They learn so fast.
Still, his skittishness is much improved from Saturday morning when he hid for twenty minutes while I looked repeatedly beneath three different beds on two different floors when it was time to give insulin.
Now, when I ignore him and sit, he quickly returns to my lap and relaxes, purring.
I feel as if whatever honing is being done to me has increased in intensity in the last few weeks. I’m neither resigned nor particularly accepting toward this. Instead, I am moving through it the way a knight of old might have moved through his early training. Learning to maneuver in the heavy, clanking armor, to battle on foot and from horse, taking blows upon head and chest that would’ve killed him had he not been suited up.
Unbeknownst to me, have I suited up for this battle, if battle it is? This honing of the sword that I am, a weapon of the light, has been taking place in a crucible of yawn-inducing ordinariness. My mundane life, with all its human peaks and valleys, seems a bland canvas upon which I’m envisioning this battle royale.
And yet…For all I know, for each of us who struggles to invite inner peace no matter the outer turmoil, for each of us who moves through our challenges with as much dignity and courage as we can, perhaps one more light sparks in the Multiverse. Perhaps when one more warrior is knighted, or one more weary human is polished to a bright edge as sharp and shiny as any jewel-encrusted sword, the All That Is places another check on an unfathomable tally toward an unimaginable balance only It can know.
Sitting with Brownie in my lap doesn’t feel like the aftermath of battle, but I sense it may be exactly that. And like any savvy warrior who’s given leave to rest, I remove my dented, slightly rusty armor, sheathe my nicked sword in its scabbard, and hug my cat. It’s Christmas Day, and at this moment, I have peace.