The Empath Stretch is a movement meditation, an affirmation in gesture. We move with the breath in, and out, an inner rhythm, an inner journey bringing the meaning closer to our body, mind, and spirit. The center of this “prayer” is Energy, and in doing the movement representing “energy” it reminds of what energy is:

We move our hands like a turbine, around each other at the level of our navel, rotating around each other, outwards and inwards, all the while breathing in and out. We are generating energy as we do the movement, remembering that We are energy, we are light, and we are breath.

My little dog Darby is thirteen years old now. He moves so quickly following behind us as we take walks now, the same paths every day. He is full of energy and life, and I treasure his sweet little being daily.

I never thought I’d be an older woman with a little dog. It’s funny. Now in this quarantine, he is my primary partner, and a quite demanding partner he is. He must be taken out at least 7 times a day, to do his business in the garden. He wants to walk in the evening, and sometimes in the morning. He is chomping at the bit, figuratively not literally, to do all these things. He can’t use words, so he uses his body, and he barks. His energy is distinct, adorable, adoring. I am so blessed with this little being in my life.

Darby has hip dysplasia and his walk looks like a racoon’s walk these days. The vet doctor tells me that he needs to walk, and yet walking is hard for him. The best walking for him is quickly down hill, and his body loosens by the time he’s at the bottom. Sometimes though he just stops. He sits down and waits for me to come back and carry him. I carry him whenever he sits down. Sometimes he has to give me a little bark to remind me. I pick him up. I carry him sometimes for long periods, and his little ten pounds starts to get heavy. I carry him as long as I can. It’s okay to hurt a little bit, and then we both sit and rest, gather our energies, and start again.

Darby is slow, usually. And he makes many stops on our walks, no longer able to lift his leg to pee, he just spreads his legs a bit, splat. Sometimes he loses his balance or his footing when he’s doing a hill, and he has trouble righting himself. He’s a little fur ball, rolling and rolling, sometimes.

I don’t know if I deserve his devotion, for he is devoted. He has learned not to lick me, as I don’t like licking. He has learned not to do his business in the wrong place. He’s a good little boy, though I’m sure a bit spoiled. Mostly he eats dog food, but he gets little morsels from my plate, when I’m finished.

Darby was rescued from the pound by my son, who was looking for his lost dog. He called me from the pound and said, I have to take this dog- he’s adorable, and he’s going to be killed tomorrow if I don’t take him. When his dog was found, he asked me to take Darby as he didn’t have space for two dogs. The two dogs were like twins, but Darby was smaller. They were both Pomeranians, and both are very attached to my son, and to me.

Today I was looking at a music video by my son and Darby got very agitated, even upset. He knew that voice, and loved that voice, but my son is far away, not here. Today, it may be my imagination, but Darby seems a bit sad. He was reminded of my son, and misses him, as I do.

I told him that soon, yes soon! we’ll see my son again. I just spoke with him yesterday, he is fine, well. Still, it’s hard not being with all the people we love, in this time of quarantine. Darby and I both hold my son in our hearts, and he is with us, in spirit. I hadn’t realized until today how much we both missed him. I’m so glad I have Darby to share this with. On the next phone call on Monday I’ll make sure that Darby gets to speak with my son as well.

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