If you ask me, they’ve missed it. And I mean really missed it. Life is about food, squirrels, sunlight, sleep, being touched, smelling everything, tennis balls, protecting the home, peeing around your place, being loved and swimming.
Life is not about being important, getting lots of work done or living longer.
I’ve known it since I was a pup. Do you remember being born? I do and I loved the day. Do you remember snorting the mucus up your nose and choking a bit and then smelling the kitchen floor? Do you remember the dry towels, the light like a planet dangling on a chord above you, the smell of your mom? Did they lay you down with your eight brothers and sisters so your bodies were one like in the womb? Was it cold? Was it scary? Did you mostly sleep and could you not get close enough to your family? In the few minutes you were awake was it even possible to cuddle as much as you wanted to cuddle? I loved the sense of being touched. Any skin that touched my skin felt like the womb. My brothers and sisters and I would sleep in a pile and I always tried to get to the bottom of the pile. If I’d not have been a dog, I’d like to have been a worm. And if I would have been a worm, I’d have found a litter of puppies and wormed my way to the bottom of them and slept beautifully.
When you were born, did you ever get to the bottom of the pile?
Do you know what I liked best about being born, though? I liked the unspeakable realization the world had been missing me. I liked knowing then like I know now that all matter had meant me and had been waiting for me since the dawn of time. If you ever wonder why dogs walk with their tongues out, this is why, because they know; they know the world was meant for them and they were meant for the world. They know the truth, that the world is a gift to and from every born creature, that they are to take from the world and give to the world and love and be loved by the world.
I still believe the world was a gift to me and I was a gift to it. It’s harder to believe that now because I live with a person and people don’t believe these things. They did once, each of them, when they were born, before they knew words, when all they saw was beauty and all they heard was the unfiltered sound and all they felt was hunger, pain and pleasure, the raw stuff of life, the stuff the poets point to with their wordy grunts.
I don’t know what happened to them. The people. I don’t know what happened to them but it is sometimes sad. They don’t walk with their tongues out and they don’t see the squirrels and the trees and the waters. They go elsewhere in their minds. They worry.