A Run With My Dog

by Laura
(Utah, USA)

A quick whistle for a large, always-willing golden retriever, who pushes past me at the front door despite my daily reminders to slow down, and we head out to walk.

Rounding the corner to face the mountains, I take a deep breath of air which is flavored differently from morning to night, and season to season, tangy and sweet in the autumn, clean and bracing in the winter, and right now, spring time in the valley after a day of precious rain, intoxicating with the aroma of sodden earth and crushed sage pressing down from the mountainside...

Air you can taste...

Our steps take us past the houses and away, onto a dirt trail snaking up--I breathe in again, this time visually, inhaling the colors, which are different from week to week, from hour to hour, just yesterday evening, shades of green, shot through with purple, the wheatgrass moving in the breeze, as if on a collective sigh.

I notice the changes that have occurred since the last time I went up, the wild apple tree that has gone from white blossoms to bright leaves, the lemon-yellow penstemon that was not there last week now dotting the hillside, the size of the silver-gray sagebrush as it spreads its filigree arms to the sky...

I walk and I breathe and I look and I smell and I listen...

Sometimes there is a deer, or even a small family of them, dun-colored, brown-eyed, that startle and bounce away, stopping to look quizzically back from a safe distance. Three times I have glimpsed a fox, sure-footed and confident, copper in the early summer sunshine, gray-coated and bushy-tailed in winter. But mostly it is just my dog and me, the sky above us, the awesome mountainside to the east thrusting into that sky and the valley peeling away to the west.

The paths that I have walked have changed through the years, and the canine companions (each loved!), the views and scents and colors are different, and the wild creatures with whom I happen to cross paths, but the effect is always the same... I feel the aliveness of the earth, and am reminded that this--this-- is my time to be alive upon her, and no matter what the concerns or demands or anxieties I brought with me when I first stepped out the door, they are diminished, placed in perspective by her generous and ancient and life-giving spirit. I am reminded that to be alive--to walk and breathe and smell and gaze--is joy.

My best stress relief?...

I have so many ways, I realize. And, really, all they have to do with is putting pleasure back into life...

Such a gift to be alive. I feel it every day.

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Jun 01, 2009
How Inspiring
by: Anonymous

I loved your description and your feelings about connecting to mother earth. Got to love our dogs!

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