Mine are animals. What are yours?

Thinking about the Easter Bunny this past week inspired me to reconnect with a joy that has sustained me my entire life.

I LOVE animals.

It was a gift I inherited from my father who loved them, too. He taught us to value and respect their special spirits whether they lived in our home, under our house, at the zoo, or in nature.

My Dad taught me a lot about animals; I cherish this picture from our last walk together in nature on Martha’s Vineyard shortly before he died in 2004.

One Easter, even though my hard-working mother already had five kids under age 7 to care for, my Dad added to our household the first of a lifetime of pets – a rabbit named Mrs. Wiggles.

Through the years I became “a dog person” and then “a horse person”; I had a second affair with a bunny named Twitchy (whose charming antics and reassuring presence comforted me while I was going through divorce); and then I became what I am today — a dyed-in-the-wool cat lover!

Our pet Wilber has his own pet lamb!

My love and appreciation for animals has never waivered.  I feel the same exuberance and reverence in the presence of animals as I did when I was two years old feeding Milk Bones to my grandparents’ eagerly accepting dog Hoppy!

I am telling you this because I believe something important about my own life and I bet it applies to yours, too.  That we each possess — and can tap into —  essential passions and joys that bring us deep and abiding love, excitement and fulfillment. For me, I have always needed regular connection with animals and nature to feel grounded and whole.

Hugging ritual I have with a special horse in our neighborhood. (Thank you, Woman on Fire Holly Getty, for capturing the moment!)

What is it for you?  Do you have a joy, an interest, a passion that took root in your childhood that still inspires and motivates you today?  How often do you connect with it?  What happens in your life when you do?

I would love to hear.  Please let me know in the comments section below.

I wish for you to know and embrace whatever it is that gives you life-sustaining joy so that you may always feel the miracle of that pleasure!

P.S.  Happy Birthday to our beloved 17-pound, no-I-am-not-fat-I-am-lean- and-tall cat.  Wilber turns 7 on April 27!

It’s my birthday. My Fancy Feast needs frosting!