A Memoir by Margaret Dulaney
The Parables of Sunlight is the story of a neglected farm, an abandoned and injured horse, and the resilience of hope. Written by Margaret Dulaney, the author of Listen Well, the spoken word website exploring open faith ideas through story and metaphor. A memoir about Margaret leaving NYC after 18 years and taking on an abandoned farm in the country. It is also one filled with stories of hope and perseverance — something we can all use these days!
An Excerpt from The Parables Of Sunlight
by Margaret Dulaney
One day three kittens landed in an outbuilding on my property. The story was that their owner would have destroyed them had a friend of mine not intervened and offered the alternative of placing them on our property. I immediately set about trying to find homes for them. I couldn’t offer my own, as my dogs would have welcomed them with open jaws. Two of the kittens were spoken for quite easily by a friend who wanted two siblings, but I was at a loss to place the third, a lovely, silver-grey tuxedo, with a snowy white chest and face.
I live in a sparsely populated area and didn’t have a huge circle of friends at the time and so came to the end of my list of possibilities in an afternoon. I was growing very fond of this dear little creature and fantasized knitting him a tiny shark suit and keeping him, but thought better of it.
On the morning before my friend was planning on coming to pick up his kittens, which would result in leaving my little grey friend all alone, I woke, walked my dogs as usual and said my morning prayers. I was deep in the woods when I stood still, planted my feet, and in a voice that I use when I mean business—one that’s almost presidential—I proclaimed, “I need a miracle for this kitten.”
I was not moved to elaborate. Somehow I felt that the next step required of me was to trust that the prayer would find its way through the right channels and to the proper source and to go about my day as planned. The only real plan that day was my Italian lesson with three people who had already professed their disinterest in taking on a new cat. Before I left for class I took a Polaroid photo of the kitten without knowing quite why (undoubtedly a suggestion from the teacher). The photo revealed a perfectly round balloon of a head tethered to four tiny, delinquent paws.
On my way to class the image of a small coffee shop in the town where my Italian teacher lives popped into my head. It occurred to me that it might be a place where I might pin up the picture of the little balloon with the words “Free to a good home,” scribbled underneath. I resolved to at least try this form of advertisement.
After a thwarted attempt at inflicting kitten guilt on my fellow students in broken Italian, I did go to the coffee shop, but discovered it was completely empty of customers and I had left the picture in the car. Hell, I thought, as I ordered a cappuccino, and stood mulling over Italian verb conjugations. Cercare, to look for, cerco, I look for, Cerca, she looks for…
When the young woman handed me my coffee, as if flipping the switch from inner mull to outer, I sighed, “I’m looking for someone who’s looking for a kitten.” This was an odd way of putting it, but I had just been speaking another language, poorly.
The young woman looked at me as if I had just managed to open one of her ears, as one would a can, and grab something vital from inside. She stared at me and said, “I am looking for a kitten. I decided two weeks ago to get a kitten but thought I would let it come to me.”
I replied, in a voice not unlike the presidential one, “Your kitten has arrived,” and ran off to the car to produce the little balloon photo.
To say that it was love at first sight would imply that the two had never met, whereas this seemed more like a recognition of an old friend. “When can I have him?” was like, “When is he coming home?” The reunion felt predestined. I exaggerate, but I cannot look at that day without feeling entirely pleased with the workings of the heavens. My miracle had taken exactly four hours to arrive.
The Parables Of Sunlight
About the Author
Margaret Dulaney is the voice behind the online spoken word website ListenWell.org, with monthly offerings designed to puzzle out spiritual themes through story and metaphor. Among the subjects explored on Listen Well are: mindfulness, spirituality, healing, hope, Christianity, Buddhism, conscious living, inspiration, creativity, God.
She writes and records out of a two hundred year old home and studio barn in Bucks County, Pa.
For more information please visit Listenwell.org
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