Monday, June 5, 2017

Clean, Dirty

Do you ever feel like the day can just turn on a dime?  One minute you are having a lovely, laughter-fulled time and the next minute things can go so very, very wrong so very, very quickly.

Today, Hope and I went to Pet Food Express to give a bath to Luna, a friend's golden retriever who is staying with us for the summer.  Since Hope was a toddler, we've been going into this place to watch dogs being bathed here at our neighborhood pet food store.  I could drink almost a half of a cup of coffee while I allowed Hope and her sister to stand around and watch as dog owners cleansed their canine family members in neat little stalls with all sorts of hoses and nozzles.  And because there were things that looked like shower heads there, Josh often enjoyed being there as well.  It was a fascinating look into the exotic world of dog ownership.  

Today was the first time for both of us that we got to do it for ourselves.  We gladly paid our money and got a shiny, golden token.  A very friendly staff person gave us an introduction to the marvelous dog shower system and then we invited our slightly smelly dog to go into the wash area.  

Luna was not thrilled but, because she is the world's most obedient golden retriever, she obliged.  You have no idea how good it feels to rub a dog's golden hair with almond scented dog shampoo-- really rubbing it in.  It's like a sensory meditation. We took turns giving her the free treats that they had at the store.  We had aprons on but we got wet anyways.  We were laughing.  It was awesome.  

Luna even sat very still as we dried her now lovely smelling fur.  Hope and I felt good about how well we had accomplished this task.  We sauntered out of the store refreshed and energized.  I paused on the sidewalk while Luna politely smelled a few butts of dogs who were headed into the stores.  Hope was considering purchasing a dog cookie for Luna.  I noticed what a beautiful day it was.  The day was sunny but not too hot.  I could smell the coffee from the Peets coffee shop a few stores down.  What a beautiful scent is coffee, that wonderful elixer.  The scent was smooth, nutty and surprisingly strong.  It was like the smell of an old friend.  I couldn't help but to smile.  

I clicked my key to open the side door to my van, which was parked directly in front of the pet food store in the disabled parking spot.  Josh had been unhappy in the store so I had brought him back to the car, rolled the windows down and left him there to occupy himself with a cup of ice.  As the door opened, I realized why the smell of coffee was so strong.  Coffee grounds had been sprinkled all over the back of my van.  It was in the cup holder, on the floor, on the ceiling and on the seat.  It was all over Josh and the bag had been tossed onto the floor below him.  

In that moment, I realized that Josh must have reached up to the front seat and had found the bag of ground coffee that I had purchased at Peets just before we went to bathe Luna.  It must have looked or felt like sand to him because he had poured it all over himself and my van.  My son loves to pour things.  At parks, Josh loves to watch sand pouring out of his hands.  He could do it for hours.  It appeared as if he had also attempted to dry-shampoo his hair with it. 

I took a deep breath and tried to not cry.  Why is it that you can turn a quick corner and then have chaos whack you across the face with no warning?  I guess because life is just like that, a diverse array of scenes and emotions that remind us that we have very little control. 

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 says, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Apparently, there are times to be clean and times to be dirty.  And the thing about these different times is that we usually don't get to determine them.  They come upon us and what we can do is to be in it and respond well. Sometimes these different types of times happen within the same hour.  Sometimes we wait for a long time for the season to keep silence to end and for the season to speak to start.  Time and the seasons are in God's hands.  We have very little power to determine these things.  

It was a small victory that I did not yell at anyone as I drove my van with a wet girl, a clean dog and a dirty boy home.  For the second time that afternoon, I stuck Josh in the bathtub and tried to explain to him that we do not pour coffee grounds on ourselves.  He simply said back to me echolalically, "We do not pour coffee grounds on ourselves" and went back to happily pouring water from a cup into the bathtub with utter delight.  

1 comment:

  1. In the Jewish tradition, we read the book of Ecclesiastes in the fall at the festival of Sukkot. I find it immensely comforting. (This is Chris Zable, Michelle and Rebecca's mom, commenting.)