Chloe lives across the street from me. I’m not sure how long we’ve been neighbors nor am I certain of her age, exactly.
I know of no other being who greets me like I am the only person on earth. Who takes the time to pause and look into my eyes with what feels like the deepest love. Unconditionally. Every. Single. Time.
Chole is one remarkable golden retriever. I encountered her this morning on my way to yoga at Tranquil Space, a pleasant 15-minute walk though the neighborhood. I had been reading the current issue of New York magazine, with its intense coverage of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and need to pause, disengage.
Chloe crossed the street, walked directly over to me and sat down as close to my right foot as she could without sitting on it. Then, she leaned ever-so-slightly against the outside of my right calf, tipping her head back against the front of my quad. She cast her deep brown eyes directly upward into my eyes and smiled. I melted.
Winnie, Chloe’s person, tells me that in the face of a spate of unusual climate and seismic event recently -- an earthquake and aftershocks, a hurricane, a week of torrential, monsoon-like rain from the remnants of a tropical storm -- Chole was chill.
Calm and centered, she eagerly headed out to the neighborhood park twice everyday to see who else was around. Not only is Chloe patient and kind and loving, turns out she is fearless, too.
At the end of yoga class, my teacher Todd concluded with tonglen meditation. He encouraged us to use this Buddhist practice of taking and giving to ease the suffering of an individual or group of individuals.
My first thoughts were with the victims of 9/11 and their families. There are no words.
I then thought of Chloe, greeting me without a sound. Present, open, patient and fearlessly kind.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
ps Alas, I was so busy soaking up the love, I failed to capture a pic of Chloe. So I’m honoring her with this lit-from-within morning glory I snapped with my iPhone on the way to yoga.