black cat

At the bottom of my neighborhood, there is a place that my daughter and I call “The Pond.” It is a large, grassy hole in the ground, the sides gently sloping down toward the center, which is at least as large as a football field. In the winter, The Pond becomes a gathering place for all the children from miles around because there is plenty room for everyone, their sleds, their dog, and their dog’s sled.

During any heavy rain storm, all the water from the surrounding neighborhoods cascades through the gutters and drains and gathers here, giving the place our name, The Pond. If the rain is hard and fast enough, then the accumulation of water in the gutter drainage collection system bursts forth in a geyser in the center of The Pond. And, all summer long, on the east end of The Pond, there is a swamp where migrating birds rest, mallards play, and the occasional goose struts.

The Pond is home to many, many gophers. Their presence is made known by all the dark mounds of fresh dirt that are pushed up all along the expanse of grass and up the hills. It is a gopher paradise, for sure, because no one “owns” the lot so they have free reign.

This fact makes it a haven for the cats to go varmint hunting.

The other morning, while I was out and about to move my body, I spied a patient black cat crouched down upon the grass studiously watching a line of fresh gopher mounds. She had been sitting there long enough that her fur was tinged with dusting of frost. She was very patient and, as I walked the perimeter of The Pond, she craned her head around like an owl to watch me, especially when I got near the top of the hill where the last – or first – gopher hill rested in the line of gopher mounds she was watching.

She was stealthily still, not moving a muscle, patient as all get out. I was out there for almost an hour and she didn’t move from her spot even once. In fact, the only movement I could discern was her subtly moving head as she tracked me on my journey.

While I was out there, there was no appearance of a gopher and she never got a chance to pounce. An hour later, after going in and getting ready for the day, I drove by The Pond and Black Cat was gone.

I don’t know if she ever got her reward for her patience and stillness. I don’t know if an unaware gopher ever popped its head up or if Black Cat merely sat there, collecting frost, and getting no reward for her diligence.

I’ve thought about Black Cat a lot since feeling her feline eyes upon me warily. She had scoped out her hunting ground, she had chosen her purpose for being there, and she had set herself up comfortably to accomplish her task. Odds are, she left without a treasure and all she had to show for it was the frosty covering on her silky coat.

Part of Black Cat’s process was being still and waiting – that is important when it comes to varmint hunting. However, often times we get wrapped up in “waiting” for something without being certain that the waiting is actually part of the process. When waiting is done in the energy of the fogginess of fear or unclarity of indecision, then waiting will never result in any reward other than a rest from action. When waiting is done because it is the next inspired action in a chain of events in a process, then the waiting actually becomes action that leads you toward your Purpose.

Knowing the difference is the key. Are you being Black Cat who is waiting patiently as part of the process or are you waiting because you have no clear idea on where you’re heading?


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