Of Dreaming Dogs and Laughing Children

Happy Tate on beach 2

Anyone who has been owned by a dog has experienced this … fast asleep they chirp several times, back legs jerk, sometimes giving out a soft bark, a few more chirps, then become quiet again. We don’t know what they are dreaming about but imagine it’s something like this … “Someone left the gate open and there’s a rabbit on the other side … run, chase, run run run.” … or “After years of waiting underneath the dining room table, someone finally dropped a piece of roast beef on the floor.

The biggest trauma our dogs have faced is being left alone for a few hours, so we’re going to bet their dreams are happy ones.

Our first grandchild lived with us the first four years of his life. It didn’t happen often, but occasionally we would hear him laugh out loud in his sleep. It’s one of those rare moments when you believe all is right with the world. But it’s not just sleeping children that trigger that emotion. Our middle granddaughter can laugh and giggle while tormenting her older brother (the one who laughed in his sleep, probably because he didn’t know at the time, he would have a little sister to aggravate him). Our youngest granddaughter, nine months old, laughs, sometimes I believe she makes herself laugh just for the pure joy of it.

Retired now, we try to walk every day. Our route takes us out of The Four-Acre Wood and onto Waters Lane, a charming and infuriating one lane road. Charming because it’s a one lane country road, infuriating because while driving and meeting someone coming the other way, someone will have to back up or pull off the road. Then our walk takes us around the Windsor School complex, the first leg loops around the buildings for the youngest children.  If we time it right, the kids will be out on the playground; running, screaming, turning cartwheels, throwing a ball to someone, throwing a ball at someone, looking for the highest object to jump from in an attempt to break something, but the pervasive sound is laughter. We can’t speak for the teachers on playground duty, but it makes us smile, enjoying the pure joy, the exuberance, the innocence of being a child at play.

We made the mistake of visiting a “news” site the other day and read of career politicians attempting to draft legislation in bills long enough to make “War and Peace” look like a comic book (and cost a lot more than the first edition of “Superman”). A tome that no one will read or understand before voting on it, in an attempt to solve all of humanities problems, both real and imagined.

We have a simple two-part counter proposal.

Part one: Devote ourselves to creating a world where our pets have happy dreams and our children laugh in their sleep instead of crying out in terror.

Part two: Live your life like someone left the gate open.

Happy New Year, Tim, Susan and Mimsy

And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:16)