We have the daily illusion that our physical lives go on forever despite all evidence to the contrary. The illusion permits us to waste time watching television, delaying difficult chores, avoiding emotional confrontations, and wasting away in a job simply for the income. If the Buddhists are correct, it does not matter how much time we waste. We are drawn here again and again and again until we tire of suffering and become enlightened. How many lifetimes before I am enlightened, I wonder. How many more turns around the galaxy on this little rock before I stop creating karma, I wonder. Perhaps the Dalai Lama is the most enlightened person on the planet right now, and even he will be reborn. It is not looking good for me.
Sometimes I am enormously tired of the drama in my life, especially when I examine how boring and insignificant that drama is. In fact, it does not even qualify as drama. I have spent two years posting about "nothing" in my blog. That is how dramatic my life is. Not that I intend to tempt fate into sending a flood or a tornado or a plague of grasshoppers to my house by whining over how boring and wasteful my life is! No sir, no one needs that kind of drama. I am certain I am enlightened beyond the need for that particular suffering.
I wish I could reach enlightenment through the path of great riches and luxury and sensual pleasures. Alas, it is sloth, considered a sin by Christians, that is my chosen path toward enlightenment this time around. I am committed mightily to that particular path.
So, here I am on my slothful path, avoiding heavy work and needless drama, dutifully practicing procrastination, when winter descends again and I am not quite prepared. I do just enough to get by. Annie's constant pawing and standing in the old water tank had split the side and cracked the bottom. The cost for the same tank increased $35 since I purchased the same model a few years ago. A factory leak is cleverly included in the higher price, but it is too late to return it now.
The temperature was well above freezing yesterday, so I hurried home in order to fill the new tank to the brim while the hoses were not frozen. A storm is on the way, with very low temperatures and several inches of snow predicted. On my way to the barn in the dark, wearing my trusty headlamp, something glowing brightly in the grass stopped me in my tracks. It was the eye of a spider reflecting as brightly as a cat's eye in the beam. I aimed more carefully and found two tiny eyes staring directly into the light. The spider emerged all the way from its den, and squared off toward me. All the times I have seen these tiny glowing spheres of light in the grass I thought they were mice eyes. Now I know better.
I stood watching the spider, marveling over the intense reflection of its impossibly small eyes. I felt pity for it knowing a snowstorm was on the way. Quite likely, the snow will mean the end to its life.
I spoke quietly, "Grandmother, you should go back into your warm nest. A snowstorm is coming."
The spider disappeared into the earth.
I made sure the water tank was filled to the very top. I attempted to pet my horse, scratch behind her ears and under her belly, but I have been demoted to an even lower status than usual and was not allowed to touch the Queen of the Universe. Ginger impatiently moved away from me, so I bribed her with extra hay. I could pet her as she sorted through the hay for the most delectable bits. I realized then that her path toward enlightenment must include belonging to me, a dolt and a dumb ass. Good luck with that, Ginger.