I’m not a big fan of the term “bucket list,” but I certainly do think about how to enjoy life as much as possible. For me it often involves furry, feathery, or otherwise non-human friends. Please allow me to ramble, er, elaborate…
Each November we visit Seth’s parents and enjoy a mini vacation in sunny Florida. This time I hope to take part in a ‘meet the dolphins’ experience. I know it’s a cliché, touristy thing to do, but it sounds really cool.
Meeting new animals is always incredible. Earlier this year I was privileged to have a behind-the-scenes tour of the Cohanzick Zoo in Bridgeton, NJ. There I met New Guinea Singing Dog puppies, Stabby the porcupine, baby marmosets, and many other precious creatures. It’s an experience I will never forget.
Of course I also treasure time spent with the animals I already know and love. I could never keep track of how many times each day I look at Blossom and smile. Nor could I tell you what it’s like to gently blow air on my pony’s nose and receive a little kiss from him.
You might not know what it’s like to watch geese lovingly bathe each other in a pool of water. Or how peaceful and serene it is to look out over the pasture and see the geese, ponies, dogs, and a goat all coexisting in harmony. But these common occurrences do bring me joy.
I’m fortunate to have surrounded myself with other people who love and respect animals, too. In past years, Seth and I have structured two vacations around time spent volunteering at Best Friends Animal Society. And through an online bunny community I have gained close friends near and far. Even my neighbors are an integral part of a local animal rescue.
While I’ve been rambling, Blossom has hopped onto the couch, snuggled next to me, and now demands my affection. So even as I try to figure out what I want out of life, I must pause (paws?) and appreciate everything I already have. That’s why a “bucket list” just doesn’t cut it. Life isn’t about a checklist; it’s about loving and being loved, whatever that means for you.