I thought of that old prophetic adage this morning when I spied my precious cat, Lily, posed to take the best advantage of what little sun there was on the bottom corner of my bed.
No matter how cold, on most winter mornings my bed is flooded with New Mexico’s unmatched and glorious sunshine, and Lily habitually naps there for hours, soaking up its life-giving warmth. This morning was a little different, a little overcast, the sun wasn’t quite its usual self and sure enough, by mid-morning there was no sun at all. Lily must have sensed what was coming because when it did peek out for a short while, lighting up that tiny corner, she seized the moment and arrayed herself to make the best of it.
Lily is a special cat. She knows how to gather rosebuds. How to enjoy the moment, smell the coffee, make the best of any situation. She is an only cat amongst a boisterous family of five dogs, big and little, so she has to adapt on a minute-to-minute basis. And she does. Lily is grace under pressure and one could take lessons from watching her.
The Santa Fe Human Society recently held a cat photo contest as part of its ongoing and inspiring efforts to involve the community in what is one of the most successful animal shelters in the nation. I noticed the deadline was just a few days away and that there were very few entries, so I rifled through my digital cat photo files and sent in one of Lily — one I felt did not really show her off that well, but still, I was hoping that more entries would generate more entries. Lily wrote her own submission statement which you can see below the photo here.
Lo and behold. Having forgotten all about it, about ten days later Lily received a lovely letter informing her that she had won First Place in the Tabby category and Second Place in Best of Show (out of almost 40 entries)! I was floored. Lily gracefully took it in stride, neither overly proud nor feigning undeservedness. Here is a picture of Lily’s trophies, ribbons, and certificates, which I picked up on her behalf just yesterday.
We all need to take lessons from Lily. Enjoy whatever sunshine there may be. Cuddle up to your closest friend without reservation and absorb their warmth and love. Take good care of your family. And gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
Thank you, Lily, for being such a beautiful reminder of living life to the fullest in each and every moment.