DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

November 7, 2008

                                                           

Naturally

It’s curious thing. There are those moments when you want to be alone. I mean those alone-alone moments, and yet you can’t seem to manage it.

A few years ago I spent some time on a tropical island. I would venture out to the southern-most beach of that island every morning. There was nothing like it. Palm trees, gentle breezes and gentle waves lapping the shore. If you sat there all day you could see the sun come up out of the sea in the east and set in the sea to the west. Quite nice.

It was after the rainy season and before the main tourist season so I timed my visit just right. I could walk for miles in either direction on the shore, the only problem being the blazing tropical sun. So, my longer walks were in the morning and my other walks were between shady places, which afforded me time to sit in the sand and just gaze out to sea; a rarity for a Midwestern boy like myself.

But, one afternoon was especially nice with a stronger breeze than usual and it afforded me the opportunity to walk a bit further. No one was on the beach. No one, absolutely no one. Except for one particular dog.

Over the previous week I had notice a pack of dogs, which inhabited the beach area. They did not appear to be a dangerous pack of dogs, but as is well documented…I am not at-one with the animal world and so any pack of dogs is going to be dangerous to me. Many nursing homes have pet dogs for the residents to enjoy, but I have had those dogs snarl and bare their fangs to me, while the nurses accuse me of bothering the dog.

 

Really! What is it that I am supposed to do to bother a nursing home dog?? Just walking by nursing home pets for me is like walking through airport security with a metal slasher blade under my arm. All sorts of alarms go off. That’s how it is for me to pass a dog in the halls of a nursing home. The dog’s internal alarm goes off and they growl at the sight of me.

Being alone on a beach with a pack of playful dogs is for me the equivalent of facing the Buckeye linebacker corps. But one particularly mangy dog seemed to avoid the pack and seek a bit of protection around me whenever I came down the beach.

So on this particular afternoon I was walking alone. The day was gorgeous. There were miles of unoccupied beach to the east and west. No dogs either. I walked. I stopped. I sat in the sand and enjoyed the moment when out of nowhere the mangy dog ambles to the beach from the undergrowth, spies me and heads my way. I hoped at best it might amble on by but it came up to me and sat. Not only did it sit. It literally sat ON my feet.

Just me, palm trees, the tropical sun and beach and a mangy dog on my feet. It was my one and only Jack Hanna-moment. The memory is still a good one.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing