The day: last Friday. The scene: fish fryin’ goin’ on at home. Friday = fish. It’s a rule in these parts.
As we all know, frying anything means the scent of fried anything doesn’t just linger, it camps out for the night in the kitchen and in any nearby fabric as well. While the scent of fried food is generally delish (shall I remind you of the scent of hot McDonald’s fries?), fried fish, on the other hand, is a bit much. And we won’t even get into the concept of frying a perfectly healthy, otherwise very low-fat protein. Let’s just say I had the broiled version.
Back to the frying fish…to alleviate some of the scent, I cracked the sliding glass door in my kitchen a couple inches. Night had already fallen, but I didn’t bother to turn on the patio lights outside. After five or ten minutes, the fish was nearly done, the night had grown considerably cooler, as did the kitchen, so I went to shut the door and as I did, I spotted two eyes looking through the glass at me. I flick on the light, and here’s what I see:
I’m not a cat person, but I still love animals, and when I see one poised at my back door, drawn by the smell of fish wafting through air, I can’t help but melt. I’ve seen Kitty around the ‘hood, and she’s always friendly. So I stepped out to say hello and give her a pat. Couldn’t slip her a nibble cause then she’d be at the back door every night, but I enjoyed the surprise and her company, even for just the few minutes that she stayed. I stepped back inside, and then as quietly and covertly as she came, she vanished.
Kitty got me thinking; you see, her impromptu visit isn’t just a fun but meaningless diversion, but an allegory for life. My life, specifically. I’m an admitted control freak…well maybe I’m not a control freak, but I’m very Type A, so the loss of control and order and ritual in the last year of my life has been an anxiety-inducing, roller coaster hell. Sure, there has been love, adventure, and liberty, but with these experiences comes the logistical nightmare that is your life once the balloon floats back down to earth. There are still bills and dues and time and space to deal with.
But what I’m beginning to discover is that once you open your door to the unexpected…even just a crack…things are never quite the same. Once you finally find the nerve to bid adieu to life as you knew it, once you have leapt, faithful that your feet will gracefully find the ground beneath them, you begin to experience a life that is very different from the status quo. You open the door and sometimes, in spite of yourself, when you least expect it, the universe sends you a moment of bliss and clarity, a moment of pure joy.
But you have to open the door. You have to open the door.