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  • Writer's pictureDan FitzPatrick

January 1, 2023

Logan and I were strolling in our yard enjoying the surprisingly mild weather and remarking on the fact that our humans had awakened much later than usual that morning. Logan said that that seems to happen every year around this time. Apparently, the humans make a big deal about one particular day ending and another beginning. Logan says that he finds it puzzling in that they seem to be unusually excited on the day that is ending and a bit out of sorts and grumpy in the morning of the new day beginning.

They may want to take that into consideration when they celebrate again next year.

That prompted a conversation between us about how often the humans celebrate this time of year. They have this odd tradition associated with turkeys, and an even stranger habit of cutting down a perfectly fine fir tree, planting it inside the house, and arranging brightly wrapped objects under it. Whatever their meaning or relevance, they clearly are very important to the humans, as so many of them gather together every year to celebrate the turkey and the tree. Perhaps they are simply venerating nature, which would be a good thing in and of itself.

That got me thinking. I asked Logan why the humans place so much significance on this one particular day. He answered:

“Cadbury, that’s actually one of the main things about humans I find so curious. You see, they are uniquely focused on the passing of time. They dwell on things that occurred in the past and worry a lot – almost exclusively – about what might happen in the future. Sadly, in the midst of all this dwelling and worrying, they hardly have time to appreciate the present, the here and now.”

“Now, there clearly is value in remembering the pleasant aspects of past experiences and the life lessons they teach us, but to spend time and energy on regrets or unpleasant thoughts seems to me to be the height of foolishness. And while there also is value in giving some thought to future needs, and planning for them to the extent that that can be done, far too many humans take that activity to the extreme, fretting about potential dangers and harm that more often than not fail to materialize. If that isn’t the definition of wasted time, I don’t know what is.”

“And the really crazy thing about all this is that they know better, or at least they should. A great many years ago, a rather unique individual told a story about birds and flowers living quite well without worrying about the past or future. The story was recorded in a book that is probably the most famous in the world. In fact, that book is the basis of most of what our friend Kilian’s human, the man in black clothes, talks about when he is speaking to all the other humans gathered in that big stone building every week. Perhaps the message just isn’t getting across.”

“While I feel for our humans, I am very grateful that I am a dog. You and I get to sit or run around our yard every day, experiencing the weather, watching the squirrels and rabbits, the falling leaves and the drifting snow, and greeting passersby with a hearty bark. Life is good, and we enjoy it. We give very little thought to tomorrow, as it will come when it comes and will be what it will be. The day may be boring, it may be eventful, it may be challenging; we don’t know, and we can’t in any event change it. Instead, we get to spend almost all of our time and attention being together, in the moment, appreciating and enjoying what we have in front of us right now.”

“Whatever special significance this day has for our humans, it is for us just another glorious day in a long line of many.”

“So now, Cadbury, let’s turn to the business of the day – I hear a truck coming down the road that needs to be barked at.”

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