This morning I took a leisurely walk with Petra.
I relaxed in my rocking chair with hot green tea in a pretty mug (I always choose a pretty mug on my Quiet Day) and Acadia purring on my lap.
I sat on the floor beside Rowan, running my fingers through his soft, luxurious coat, feeling his warmth and the gentle tickle of his whiskers as he sniffed my face, thankful for all the time I have with my aging boy.
I laughed as Milo played gleefully, his tail and ears going in all directions with his irrepressible joy.
I watched and sketched squirrels and birds, always lively on our deck, not trying to do great sketches, but just capturing the moment.
Often, when I am feeling wound up with too long a to-do list or with concerns that weigh on my mind or with the busyness of this time of year, my animals help me slow down and return to the present, where I regain perspective and where worries take their place behind gratitude. I am thankful for a full life, for quiet moments that help me appreciate that fullness, and for the peace God gives as he reminds me of his presence through his creation.