“Nothing will muck up your day more than an escaped llama.”
That was my friend’s words of advice when I offered to llama-sit so she could escape with her husband for the weekend.
“Ginger, farm animals might be friendly but they can take you out if you turn around. So always, always always focus. Shut the gate behind you. Pat the horse’s butt when you pass behind him. Animals can your smell fear as sure as you can smell their manure.”
I didn’t want to be on the s news because of an escaped long lashed creature running down a county road. So I took my friend’s advice and focused, not letting my brain wander while I shoveled their hay.
But even after feeding time at the farm was over, my friend’s words of advice replayed in my brain. What if I had that llama thinking all of the time, focusing on the present, what I’m doing now, not what I had to do later?
So that’s what I did. I focused and read a book my friend highly recommended, The Art of Time by Jean-Louis Servan-Schrieber.
It’s a good reminder that you can’t recycle yesterday.
“Of all the resources, time is the most precious because it is the only one that is not renewable.”
Focusing on the moment means less typos. Better conversation. No more inhaling an entire pint of Ben N Jerry’s without even tasting it. No more worrying about what will come. No more regretting what can’t be undone.
And no more escaped llamas.
Other pearls of wisdom from Servan-Scheriber included, “In practice, only the present counts, for that is where we spend our life and it is unimaginable that we could be elsewhere.”
I shut the book and scratched my head. Maybe if I had read this book earlier that week, I wouldn’t have fallen in a manhole.
Yes, I did. And it’s not a good way to start the week.
I’m sure the picture that came to your mind was of a cartoon character like Mr. Magoo blindly falling into an open hole while taking a stroll down a sidewalk.
But it wasn’t a manhole on the street that swallowed me, but one located in the reincarnated remains of the Chelsea Hotel. The building leaks like an eighty year old man so the lid of the basement manhole was removed, allowing a large draining hose to go down.
For some reason, an orange caution cone was not covering the hole. So when I hurried to the basement in search of garbanzo beans, I splashed right into it.
My right leg was swallowed whole then pickled by the sewer juices, something I fear will lead to manhole size ringworm someday.
But hey, I can’t worry about that now.
There is someone I met who doesn’t agree with the Llama advice: Sneaky Pete.
Sneaky Pete is my friend’s donkey whose on a diet. His dinner consists of an orange candy slice which secretly contains donkey diet aids. And if you’re not focused, Sneaky Pete will eat the llama’s lunch.
Sneaky Pete doesn’t agree with the llama advice. That’s because when you aren’t focused in the barn, Pete will eat the llama’s lunch.
So pay attention to what you’re doing, whether you’re feeding a llama, spending time with a friend or looking for a can of garbanzo beans.