New life-experiences are filled with uncertainty. They can be downright terrifying or they can bring joy and a sense of satisfaction. It all depends on our perspective and our attitude.
Take Tux, for instance. He’s the Samoyed launching himself into a wave. Now, he is a sled dog who is genetically predisposed to loving winter. He’s got a thick double-coat of fur which is made to protect him from snow, not salt water.
Tux had never been to a beach, so it was a treat for him and a pleasure for me. Having his friend with him, Kiya, a husky-mix, who also has a double-coat, made it a special day for Tux.
Unlike Tux, Kiya had been to the beach many times and had a lot of experience with water and crashing waves. She was far less enthusiastic about playing in the water than Tux. In looking at the picture, you can see Kiya’s apprehension displayed in her posture.
And now look at Tux – oblivious to Kiya’s warning. “If you’re not afraid of the water, than what do I have to worry about. Yipee! C’mon Kiya.”
Oh boy. This should be interesting.
It was a new life-experience, but Tux didn’t bother himself with worry over what might happen. He simply bound forward with enthusiasm and ambition.
Oh yeah, he went tumbling!
He got knocked around, the saltwater probably stung his eyes, and I’m sure he swallowed a mouthful. Did it scare him? Most likely, but only for a moment. He raced out as fast as he went in and did it all over again. And again.
Sometimes, life really does hit us head-on, knock us down, and leaves us choking and fighting to catch our breath. However, when we pull ourselves out from the drowning water, we can look at the experience and be proud. We can say to ourselves, “I made it. It was pretty scary, but I survived.”
Like Kiya, we may never jump in waves again, but we’ll never be afraid to play in the surf.
Tux took a moment to thank his friend for showing him how to have fun and he gave her a hug. (Yes, I know. I’m stretching it here, but it’s a great picture.)
Isn’t it nice to have someone beside us, to give us confidence and dance with us when we’ve made it through a difficult wave of life?
And then, we are prepared to face new life-experiences with confidence. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Several years ago, Tux went to live with very close friends of ours so he could have the most enjoyable and stress-free life possible. Today, we will say farewell to him as his family is relocating to the beaches of Florida.
At 14 years old, I’m sure he is going to face this new wave of life with as much enthusiasm as ever. We will miss him dearly. You will have always been our dog and our teacher.
I originally wrote and published this post on July 4, 2014 (on a different blog). I believe it stands the test of time and has a great deal of relevance today for a few families I know who are facing major life-changes.
Fare well my friends, fare well!
Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.