As you can see, our new family member Aiko has arrived. Friends have asked me how the past week has been, and I’ve used the word ‘rollercoaster’ a lot.
She’s brought broken nights, anxiety, arguments, frustrated tears and – once – a flash of deep regret.
She’s also brought enthusiastic nose-licking, huge learning, lovely new connections with humans, tears of overwhelming tenderness, and a ridiculously waggy tail.
Yesterday I wrote a list of the things that will help keep me sane in these difficult first weeks. These are that, on top of my basic duties, I strip out all expectation of getting anything done for a while except five minutes of spiritual practice and five minutes of checking in with my different parts every day, and continuing to write this weekly Letter from Satya.
I’m lucky that I’m a Pureland Buddhist and not Zen – playful puppies and zazen are NOT compatible. This morning I chanted nembutsu in my office, my left hand concealing my mala, my right throwing a cuddly bee for Aiko to collect and return, collect and return.
We are all on the first leg of a great adventure. The cats are still upset, I’m sleep deprived, and I can’t see how I’m every going to get anything done again. And then I look at her furry belly in the air and remember that everything will be alright.
Welcome, Aiko. Thank you for everything you have already taught me. Good girl!