I am at the beach again and on my favorite path near the bay in First Landing State Park. I am riding my bike along and it is a ninety degree day, with people, dogs, babies and bikes all on the same path.
I am riding a new bike to me, higher off the ground and bigger wheels. I love the ease of changing gears and generally feeling up off the ground and speeding along. It may be doubtful that it is a good idea for me to ride it but I have no doubt about how I feel on this bike.
I am watching and slowing down at a particular corner where there is a bench and more open path. However a big shaggy dog is there with its owner calling to it “Reilly” to get him back to the owner. He is off the leash. He sees me and starts wriggling his whole body in anticipation of meeting me. I do not like getting down off the bike as it is an effort to get back up. However this dog is oblivious to his master and runs straight at me and at the last moment puts his whole body in my way. I jump down, stay upright and the wheel flips to one side.
My reaction to all this is to yell at the owner about keeping the dog on its leash. “what is the matter with you, it is not Riley’s fault, it is your fault. I am a 70 year old woman and do not like being stopped suddenly.” She gets the dog under control. She said it was a very hot day 90° and she just let the dog out for a moment to get into the water.”
The dog has a long shaggy coat and must’ve been very hot. However I am frightened, had a fear of having a fall. I do not say any thing else but noticed that my front mud guard is now rubbing in a noisy way, a little high pitched squeal togo with my squealing at Riley’s owner.
As she walks on she shouts back at me “Happy Christmas, happy Easter and bless your little heart” and her words had a certain unpleasant squeal too.
I notice a man standing nearby with his eyes closed down toward his small son who is just knee-high to him. The boy is a little wide eyed looking around. My face gets red as I write this paragraph. I have some shame for shouting in front of the little boy.
I feel the shame of lashing out at Riley’s owner because they had no intention of hurting me and somehow my not reading the situation and not being willing to get down off the bike more quickly did put me in a shaky situation.
I am surprised and in wonderment at myself that here I am trying to love my neighbor as myself and this is what I do. When I recounted the story to someone else, they wondered if I was at risk of getting in a fight. I have never thought of that but probably yes, especially if I had reacted to the comments and the “bless your heart words”in particular.
As I went on my way further out towards the bay under the watchful eyes of falcons in high nests, the whole incident is playing in my mind and I wonder how I could’ve done better. I reasoned about the fact that she had no intention of hurting me, that I was not under threat of any kind and that she was just trying care of cooling off her big shaggy dog.
This led me to start praying for Riley and the mother of Riley and as soon as I had done my first prayer I felt my stomach release like something was letting go that had been totally tightened up and tightened in. Nice to feel that letting go and realized that the prayer was the thing that is helpful to me.
In my last blog about Moriah and Springtime, I mentioned the devil taking a pound of flesh. I had some misgivings about these ideas from my religious background. And also mentioned by Shakespeare in one of his plays. I remember the delicacy and the terrible feeling I had in the play when someone was ordered to give a pound of flesh for something they did.Would there be some pound of flesh here to be paid?
I went to the beach later and there was a gentleman shoveling the sand off the path that led up and over onto the beach. He said he was doing his civic duty and we had some friendly talk about his ancestors being from Scotland. The next day in the same place I am getting on my bike and my foot catches on the path and the bike falls to the right and I fall to the left. There are some ridge marks on my leg and I feel a thump on the ribs but very little after effect.
I get up and go my way but wonder if that fall was the pound of flesh for my efforts to pray for the woman and squash my perseveration about what she had done. That I needed to fall down is one thing but my attitude to the falling down is another. While I have some pain I won’t be suffering from it because I repeatedly let it go by praying for all concerned, myself included.
My index finger on the right hand is refusing to bend up all the way toward the palm. This is something very new and I now have this idea that the right finger is used for pointing at people in accusation. “Look she did the wrong thing, she let her dog off the leash.” There is another way to use the hand which is to turn it over and open my hand out and allow the light to go through my hand to go to the person, acknowledging the light in them. Namaste. Love from Rose Marie.