I have been absorbed for the last two weeks with attending to the first call to compassion that the universe gave to me to accompany my jukai: the nursing of a tiny kitten, who we now know was only five days old when we got her.
Dubbed Little Bit, she has completely taken over our lives. With a three-hour round-the-clock feeding schedule, Sabrina and I have been rotating our alarm clocks, sleeping when we can, taking turns getting up to bottle feed the baby. About three days ago, we were able to stretch it out to four hours, and it felt like heaven.
Not that we're complaining. Every day is a revelation. We are as smitten as any parents. Her tiny feet, grasping the bottle, draw oohs and aahs. We marvel at her increasing strength and dexterity, and laugh when her full belly throws her off balance, causing her to tumble head over heels. We carry her around for hours, snuggled up against our chests, giving that "skin-ship" warmth that nothing else can replace. We are slowly and carefully introducing her to the rest of the brood. Teo, the 100-pound Ridgeback/Rottweiler, loves babies, and clamors for her attention. But of course, just his tongue is bigger than she is, so only supervised play is appropriate. We mix formula, wash blankets, fret about feeding sessions where she doesn't seem to eat as much, gloat over those times when she pigs out. We are completely obsessed.
I found myself today marveling at her very existence, the fragility of her little life, her absolute trust of us. And also the very simple "is"-ness of it all. She eats; she pees; she plays until she's droopy; then she snuggles; then she crashes hard, and it's time to nap for three hours again. No plans, no stress, no judgment, no fear, no wanting except for the most basic needs. A little bodhi in the making.
(I promise I will write about the jukai. I'm still working up to it.....)