AdventWord 2023: Peace


Finding Peace...

I have always had trouble finding peace. For me, being on the autism spectrum, seems to mean having a mind that is constantly probing, analysing and questioning. If there isn’t anything to focus on, it will create something. Either out of whole cloth or it will capture some trivial thought that doesn’t warrant attention and make that the focus. Letting go and just being is something that I simply don’t seem able to do.

peace, a person sitting on a couch, mug of tea and a cat cuddling up.

Then, along comes Jasper...

Of our three cats, he is the only one who wants to spend extended periods in a lap being fussed and I am more than happy to accommodate his requests for squeaky time*. Being chosen by a cat is precious to me as it signifies a high level of trust and proof that in their eyes I am a member of the colony and worthy of grooming and so, justifies the investment of time and attention required for the interaction. 

When petting him I can shut out the rest of the world, the intrusive problem-solving is paused and it’s just me and him engaged in mutual maintenance. I stroke, scratch and fuss him. He purrs and relaxes for me, and when he relaxes on me, I relax under him. He often goes to sleep and occasionally will sleep deeply enough to dream and the accompanying twitches are a treasure to me. I take this as a demonstration that I am trusted to protect him when he is most vulnerable and I take this as a compliment without equal.

 It is a wonderous emotional symbiosis that has no equal in my world, brings me great joy and for want of a better phrase – refills my soul.
So, in this season of goodwill, I hope that you can find some of the peace and joy that Jasper being in my lap brings to me.

* Some important background is warranted here methinks. None of our cats actually meow in the standard sense, they talk to us in squeaks, chirps and trills depending on the cat, situation and what they are trying to communicate. When Jasper wants some time in a lap he has a very distinct squeak to communicate that desire and the following period of lap occupation is termed "squeaky time". This is also why one of his nicknames is Squeaky Boi.

Merry Christmas

Picture of Vincent Heywood

Vincent Heywood

MBS Director

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