A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pet Blessing

I had a busy day planned for today, but I couldn't miss a trip downtown with Taz for the Blessing of the Pets this morning. It was held in the little park across from the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, in honor of the Feast of St. Francis, which is October 4.

About twenty-five dogs were there, a few of them rather obviously old or infirm, plus a long-haired cat in a carrier, a bunny on a little boy's lap, and a red-eared slider being affectionately stroked by a middle-aged lady. A lectern had been set up for the priest atop a raised planting bed, and rows of chairs provided for the pet owners.

After introductory remarks, a reading from Scriptures, and a sermon, the priest stepped down (well, fell off of the wall, actually, but without apparent injury) and announced he was going to walk amongst us, reciting a blessing and sprinkling the animals with holy water.

"Please tell your pets I come as a friend," he implored, only half-humorously.

That's the priest on the left wielding the aspergillum, the altar boy in the middle with the basin of holy water, and Taz, of course, distracted enough by the operation to leave off licking Donna's face for a moment.

I have to say I had been a little apprehensive about taking such a wired dog into a crowd of other animals, but in fact she was quite well-behaved. She seemed almost intimidated by the numbers and by the novelty of the situation. Or maybe she knew she was in the presence of holiness.