Arlo, Girl in Purple, Now

Kim TanzerUncategorized

I am hummingbird. Flitting and floating and hovering about, which, if I took a moment to think about, is probably why I became a yoga teacher, mindfulness group facilitator and psychotherapist. Focus, focus, focus are needed.

Sometimes I spin in a perpetual pool of existentialist angst, with questions like, “Why am I on this planet?” “What is my purpose?” looming like full moons, and everything else, greyed out, meaningless.  Then, I look at Arlo, my rescue, my personal Siddartha, and his greyhound poise and canine nowness bring me back to shore.

Arlo is my constant reminder of what it means to be present and in the flow.  He smiles from the inside –sniffing the twitter feeds of dog-dom–trees, hydrants, stray bags, patches of grass–charging after squirrels, roaming the ravine with a canine pal, or breaking into his mad greyhound streaking run.

Today Arlo brought me back again and again to remember that I am in this body, I have eyes and a sense of smell, that I revel in seeing a snail snuggled into a tree trunk nook, that the first sip of coffee at my favourite cafe is sublime, that the stretch in my spine and hamstrings in downward facing dog stretch my mind as well–these seemingly random things are what life is about.  At least they are parts of the this and that responsible for whole gestalt that is called life.

Returning from our walk, Arlo and I get into the elevator with a girl and her dad.   Maybe she is around 4 years old.  She is wearing everything purple and is sucking on a yellow lollypop.  Her purple running shoes are the kind that have flashing lights around the sides.  “How old are you?,” I ask.  Turns out yes, she is 4.  I am good with guessing the ages of kids, not so much adults– at some point adults start looking the same age to me.  “When is your birthday?”, I ask.  “Now!”, she says.  And, in fact, her birthday was that day.  Her response, “now”, and not “today”, stuck with me.  Now, not today.  Now, in that elevator, lollypop in mouth, purple shoes sparkling.

Arlo, Girl in Purple, Now.