On a brilliant fall day in Vancouver, I watched Sly the Cat bask in the sun or, rather, a spot of sun streaming through a window. Lying there, soft and toasty, he was utterly content. Life couldn’t be more perfect!
A while later, I noticed that the sunny spot had moved two feet away, but Sly was still smack in its center. Even a house cat must “work”: to adapt to change. A perfect situation is never permanent. If he had stuck to his original sunny spot, he would’ve found himself huddled in the shade. While the sun eventually finds most chilly dark corners, it pays to chase it yourself!
Sly and his sunny spot made me think about the human condition. While a cat’s pursuit of happiness might involve sunshine, companionable humans, and dabs of Petromalt, we are likewise driven to be happy. But, even if we do find a moment (a day, a month, a decade) of real joy, it cannot last forever. On the bright side, if things are bleak, they won’t remain that way: either circumstances change or we cope.
Of course, the real trick is not to be swayed by sun or shade or any external circumstance. If you’re essentially OK with yourself and with life (this includes death), nothing can faze you.
Today is Canadian Thanksgiving Day, which always sneaks up on me. (Thanksgiving in October? On a Monday?) I’m not a big holiday celebrator, but this might be an auspicious day to review the year 2010, already three-quarters gone. Am I in a sunny spot? Are you?