Some of my very best memories were made during the many weekends I spent growing up at my grandparents’ home.

Summer evenings found me washing good dirt from fattened, sun-warmed tomatoes

Making Caprese salad for our picnic on the porch.

My grandfather had a tiny hibachi grill and tended the charcoal like a lunatic with tunnel vision.

We all waited for his: “READY!”

And sprung into action delivering the steak to him, dressing the table, orchestrating the symphony of a picnic on a mosquito-laden, Michigan Saturday evening.

Five minutes into the cook a low-down dog named Totter appeared;

An ancient Basset hound weighing in at 60 lbs with ears wagglingly dropped to the porch brick.

He maneuvered over to the steak on the grill and sat down.

After a nice long chat with my grandfather he received the first cuttings of meat on his own plate and promptly disappeared as the humans dug in.

Totter loved what he loved.

He loved it so much that it was almost embarrassing to watch his pleasure.

Lately, I love what I love fiercely too.

I let myself be overwhelmed by simple pleasures like an early morning breeze becoming blistering heat in the following hours.  Fleeting, impermanent. Can’t buy it or catch it or collect it to enjoy later.

So much in our world is not a problem!

I am choosing to live there; not with a blind eye to the rest but a conscious choice to love what I love as best I can as much as I can while I can.

Going after a doctorate in loving what I love;

The seven pound press of Emma on my lap, my adjustable bed with clean sheets dusted with Chanel #5 powder, pink hollyhocks under an ancient apricot tree, shared table with good friends, summer flush of my skin, coffee as medicine, a radically pared down life.

God only knows how many years of hours and minutes I used up acquiring..

Knowing that was me not too long ago and noticing who I am now is something to love as well.

The list is inexhaustible of things and people and animals and rocks and potions and praying mantises to love!  

(Just now I loved that I called up the energy to rise up off the toilet when , on first and second try I could not..)

Dr. Cathy Phillips Aten knows what she loves and does so fiercely.


4 Responses to “Totter”

  1. Pam on June 30th, 2017

    I’ve always loved your fierceness, Cathy!!!

  2. Irene on June 30th, 2017

    You are a wise woman…:)

  3. gerry harty on June 30th, 2017

    Dr.Cathy Aten …I like the sound of that!And don’t forget Emma Aten PA!!! xoxo

  4. Debra on June 30th, 2017

    And I loved seeing YOU and Emma yesterday at the courthouse park. What a sight for my sore eyes to see you gliding under the deliciously green trees, into the welcoming solace of their shade with the tiniest white poof of Emma’s being in your lap. Wheeeee! And that color! Your blouse color! Fierce calmness; dignity; pride; peace. Purple says, “Look! Look here!” I saw you. I see you, o’ wise one. xo

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