The touch of a feather: When your heart breaks open

guinea pig
Alice aims for adventure.

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space. – Pema Chodron

She was such a little thing.

By far the smallest of the six guinea pigs we had. But, my mom nicknamed her the busybody. Alice was into everything. She was the most curious and smartest of all six pigs, as well. Remember when she defied guinea pig logic? (If you haven’t read that post, go ahead and do it now. I’ll wait. It’s worth it. Still makes me smile.)

Alice had begun losing weight a few weeks ago. But, she was her normal self – still wheeking for veggies, eating, drinking, and making sure her sisters didn’t bother her. We took her to the vet the week before Thanksgiving for an eye problem. We got medication for that, and the vet was looking into some other things he saw as a concern. She then began going downhill, pretty quickly. She crossed the rainbow bridge the weekend after Thanksgiving.

But, when my heart breaks open, like it has with Alice’s passing, it reminds me that our hearts are big big places. That there is room for the small things and the big things and sometimes, it’s those small things which are so big.

With a heart that’s been broken open, we can feel the lightest touch of a feather, like guinea pig whiskers on our nose. I have found in some circumstances, I’m able to see that quality in others… that we each have someone in our life whose heart will be broken open wide for us. And it makes it a little harder to hold on to the brick walls I keep up.


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