Rumi and Hafiz: Lessons on Love

27 Apr

I’ve always been more of a people person than an animal person. I didn’t grow up with dreams of being a veterinarian and I don’t give money to animal organizations. Although I grew up with pets and loved them dearly, I was always drawn more to babies. But now that I don’t have babies, I’m amazed at how drawn I am to animals.

Perhaps because both infants and animals are entirely dependent on their care givers and because we don’t necessarily understand babble or meow, I’ve begun to see a correlation between animals and small children. No, I’m not saying that pets and kids are the same or that animals are close to being human. But I do feel both animals and children have profound things to teach us about love.

Rumi and Hafiz came to me about five years ago when they were six years old. They were so terrified of their new environment that they hid in the closet for two days and only came out at night when I was asleep (although Hafiz tried walking on my head to wake me up – scaring the *&^!% out of both of us). But like family members or lovers, I’ve noticed that time increases our intimacy. Over the years, they have become increasingly affectionate and deeply mournful whenever I’m absent. Even with great house sitters when I’m gone, I realize there is no substitute for me. They have bonded with me or as they say “imprinted” to me and they need and love me. Likewise, as the years pass, I need and love them more.

While they can’t speak our language, their eyes reveal a love so deep (beyond thanks that I feed them) I feel connected to the divine through them. Yes, we might be the creatures that Lord over them but what a wonderful transaction of companionship and love they offer. I think they have a lot more going on in their little fury heads than we realize…

And it is no coincidence that Rumi and Hafiz were named after Sufi poets who wrote about the beauty and mystery of God.

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