Monday, November 6, 2006

Walking the Dog

About three and a half years ago, I gave in to the relentless begging of my daughter, and we adopted a dog. She is part terrier, and part something. She is the ultimate shaggy dog, but with adrenaline. With a lot of time and patience, she has come to be a mostly well behaved dog.

It is my job to walk the dog in the morning, and at night, and if my daughter is not around to walk her in the afternoon. Some days I hate this task. I have things to do. It is raining, or cold, or I am just plain tired. But then when I get outside, for all but a few days of the year, my grumpiness shifts.

Sometimes it is just getting out and walking that can erase a grumpy mood. But usually it is just because each day is different. The temperature, the brightness of the day, or of the moon. I am still stunned at those times when the moon is full and high, at how bright it is. For so many years, when I was out at night, I was rushing from a building to a car. Not really noticing my surroundings, or how they changed. But that act of going out everyday and everynight, shifts the perception. Subtle changes become more pronounced.

Today I was noticing how the wind of a week ago has wiped out virtually all the leaves on the trees. Neighbors, and my husband, were out over the weekend, raking up the leaves. Gardens have been put to bed, so to speak. The debris of the the brilliant flora of the summer, is now faded, wilted, and removed.

My garden is quite a bit messier. I have less time to tend to my garden these days. I let the wilted foliage lie. Ultimately turning into food for the next year's growth. I try and remove some of the weeds, and clean it up a bit. But all in all, the skeletons are left to rot, slowly, over the winter. I use to view this with guilt. Another sign of my inadequacy. But over the last two years, the garden comes back anew. If anything bigger and stronger than the last year. The earthworms are thriving when I dig into the soil.

What is the point of all this rambling? I guess the realization that even in a life that is full beyond capacity with things that have to get done, there is room for quiet observation. That sometimes all the things we think need to get done are self created work, that isn't really as essential as we think. A little perspective for me, and maybe for you as well.

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