Where Heather walls herself off from rejection and Bucca bulldozes through it, Denni simply is. She does not work hard, much less over-hard, for my attention, but she will delight in it whenever it’s given.
In the mood for a rub? She’ll slink between my ankles or pop up onto the counter (Bucca’s counter!), seemingly free of anxiety or expectations. If I pet her, super; if I don’t, she’s just fine.
She’ll head-bonk me ever so gently, more a petit battement than a bonk, purring placidly before moving along.
Bucca and I are boggled. How is it possible to go through life so serenely?
Bucca and I are also — and I guarantee I speak for Her Bucculence here — falling in love. How can we not lose ourselves to a cat so calm and confident and cool in her own excellence?
Denni does not need us to remind her, moment-by-moment, that she is beloved. As a result, Bucca does not need to hiss and holler. As a righteous result, I find myself reminding Denni in all kinds of ways that she is beloved.
And maybe, just maybe, even taking a breath myself.
There is another way, a Denni way. When you know you are beloved, you don’t need to do anything but be. The fear is fed, the shriek is silenced, the peace comes and stays and draws in all the good that all the trying couldn’t command.
Oh, my Bucca, if I could somehow convince you that all is well, that all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well…if I could love you in a way that made you know, all the way down, that Love is irrevocable…if I could tell you so that you’d believe me that you are The Beloved…I would move heaven and earth and Jupiter.
But we are all learning this together, aren’t we? And some days, a little black de-fanged cat will lead us all.
Try not to try so hard today, kittens. Maybe just being what we are is just enough.
But hey, if you want to holler down the hall for me, that’s cool too. We need us all.
“Being the Beloved expresses the core truth of our existence.”
– Henri Nouwen