Sunny. It’s a name that suits my friend well.
Her easy, friendly manner encourages smiling responses in those she meets.
Her patient, open acceptance of others, her loving nature and grace blesses those who encounter her.
She brings sunshine in her every step.
Yes, Sunny is well named.

Each time I encounter Sunny, I find myself learning something because Sunny is a gifted teacher who by example, teaches a simple lesson: “Take each day as it comes.  Appreciate it as gift. Play a little!”  and who embodies the saying of the Jewish Rabbi, Joshua Heschel, who wrote: “Just to be is a blessing.  Just to live is holy.” 

Sunny points to the truth that “Yesterday was the past.  Tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift, and that is why it is called the present.” (author unknown)

Sunny is right.
Each day is a gift, a new beginning, an opportunity to look at the world with new eyes and an opportunity for one’s spirituality to be enriched through playful artistic expression.

When I meet Sunny, I can’t help but look at the world in a new way.
She reminds me to slow down, relax, be aware of the sacredness of all that is around me, feel joy at an indescribable part of my spirit, appreciate all of life and play!

One day, Sunny came to visit.
She seemed curious about the garden so I invited her to have a look.

When she returned, her attention remained focused on something that was outdoors.
She watched, and seemed to be at peace.
In that moment, once again, Sunny was my teacher.

She taught me to remember to look and “see” … see beauty in the familiar … see wonder in the everyday things of life … see joy in simply be-ing, not always do-ing.

Sunny reminded me that mortals are called ‘human beings’
not ‘human doings.’

I remember the day of Sunny’s visit – and will never forget it.

In spite of the day being very long a day that began very early, before the light came through my curtains a day that ended very late, with physical fatigue, I was spiritually renewed because of Sunny’s gentle reminder

I realized it was a day where I had touched the face of Creator God in many humbling ways – ways of peace, spontaneity, patience, compassion, mercy, love, thoughtfulness, kindness, humility, joy, goodness, solitude and grace in so many ways. 

… In the joyous laughter of children at play in the nearby schoolyard, I met the Creator’s gift of spontaneity. 

… In the busyness of the office where phones rang, people dropped by unexpectedly, emails / phone messages needed replying, letters needed writing, I met the Holy One’s gift of patience.

… In the sanctity of morning quiet time and quickly-offered arrow-prayers during the day, I met God’s gift of peace.

… In the tears shed by a woman whose marriage was tenuous and cried for solace and comfort in our time together, I met the Creator’s gift of mercy.

… In the phone call from my son who walked me through the repair of a computer problem that was delaying completion of the design of a special project, I met Spirit’s gift of thoughtfulness.

… In the wonder of the baby born at the hospital after a protracted labour and unexpected live and healthy birth, I met the Holy One’s gift of love.

… In the youth holding open a door for another, I met God’s gift of kindness.

… In the delight of the child who gleefully shouted to her mother “Look!  It’s a butterfly – on my hand!” I met God’s gift of joy.

… In the unsolicited smile by a stranger on the street I met Spirit’s gift of goodness.

… In the quiet of my home which shelters me from the elements at day’s end, I met Holy Other’s gift of solitude.

… And in the gentle lesson from Sunny, that no matter how busy each day may seem, spiritual renewal comes in taking each moment as it comes, I met and continue to meet, the gift of grace.

Sunny’s visit was a gentle reminder that spiritual renewal doesn’t come in dreading the future.
Spiritual renewal doesn’t come in regretting the past. 

Spiritual renewal comes in accepting, entering into and being grateful for the gift of the moment, be that a moment of struggle, a moment of accomplishment, a time of bereavement or loneliness or fear or frustration or anger or anxiety or laughter or joy or wonder or whatever!

Spiritual renewal comes in ‘simply being.’

In case you were thinking that Sunny is a human being, she’s not.

Sunny is a delightful four legged creature – a pomeraniapoo (is that what you call a cross between a Pomeranian and Poodle?) who was used by the Creator that day in a very profound way.

May we all encounter and welcome the Sunny’s into our lives.

© june maffin