Earth Day, Every Day

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“A human being is a part of the whole that we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature.” – Albert Einstein

I went for a walk along the ocean a few days ago. I’ll usually look for any trash to pick up along the way. Sometimes an entire trash bag can be filled. Too easily. This time, I could only find one bottle cap and a tiny ribbon from a balloon. That gives me hope.

How did you celebrate Earth Day? How will you celebrate it throughout the year?

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Even cat people will love The Art of Racing in the Rain. Sure, it’s narrated by a dog named Enzo. But it’s about family and companionship and the friends we will always carry around in our hearts. Especially if one of those friends is a dog.

I’m a dog person so I found it easy to relate to Enzo and his view of the world. My dog is 13 now and she still acts like a crazed puppy most of the time. I almost didn’t want to read this book because of my dog’s age, but I’m glad I did.

We meet Enzo at the end of his life so we already know it’s going to be sad. Through most of the book, he’s looking back on his life with Denny, a race car driver. Enzo adores Denny and stands by him while he goes through too many hardships that would probably make most people give up. He gives Denny strength when he needs it and he’s a constant friend. Denny talks to him as a friend and Enzo is at times frustrated that he can’t talk back simply because of the shape of his mouth. But they still find ways to communicate.

While looking back, Enzo looks forward to his next life. He knows he will be a man because he saw a documentary that said dogs will be reincarnated as men if they’re ready. Enzo is ready. In his next life, he wants to find Denny, shake his hand, and tell him Enzo said hello.

I expected this book to be sad but there’s joy in it too. Enzo knows how to live and love. He appreciates as much as possible, as dogs tend to do. Also, I love the ending.

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Inspiration from a crazy dog

This is a crazy dog. She loves to roll in mud puddles. The stinkier, the better. Here we humans are, looking for happiness everywhere, and little do we know that extreme joy can be found in mud puddles. She shows me these things.

Every weekend, we go for a romp in the woods. For years it’s been the same woods, the same paths, but she doesn’t care. She knows there will always be something new to sniff. She gets so excited to be there, every time, that she ends up soaring through the air. At first I wondered how the same path could be so exciting. But then it’s always different. Sometimes the path is a jungle rain forest. At other times, it’s a frozen river crackling under our feet and paws. And as if that’s not enough for complete and total happiness, there are always mud puddles.