Winter continues in my neck of the woods. I won’t complain as we were spared the wintry mix of snow and sleet that had been the forecast over the weekend. However, I’ll readily admit that I am more than tired of gloves, hats and bulky coats.
Even though I had on all the aforementioned, including a wool scarf, I grumbled during the first few minutes of my morning walk. A cold wind stung my cheeks as I headed into the woods with The Poodle. As we neared the top of the path that leads down into the woods to our two lakes The Poodle pulled, hard. Something in the air had sparked his entire body into keen attention. A soft growl followed by barking broke my focus on the music I was listening to. The Poodle had his snout practically glued to the muddy path, sniffing like crazy, as he continued to pull. “Heel,” I said as I looked all around and pulled back on his leash.
Please let it not be the woman with the two Labs, one black and the other yellow.
My boy is as friendly as can be with most dogs…and humans too. But it baffles me that he’ll go all-out Cujo when he sees those two. And it is just those two Labs; he’s happily cavorted with plenty of Labs over these last ten years.
Thankfully, the Labs are nowhere in sight. Perhaps it was a fox that had him go all Tasmanian devil on me. It’s happened on numerous occasions during our walks in the woods. The first time it happened, just after we had moved to Northern Virginia, it scared me witless. The Poodle was agitated beyond belief, practically pulling my arm out of my socket. For the life of me I couldn’t see what was causing his melt-down. Images of being mauled by a bear (yes, apparently there are bears living in suburbia!) made my heart race as I all but sprinted out of the woods to “safety.” Yep folks….there’s “chicken” in my blood…..
Whoosh. It was over in a flash. The Poodle slowed, as if terribly disappointed, walking once again calmly at my side. I stopped to pet him rubbing my hands over the length of his back.
“I don’t know what it was that got you in such a tizzy my love, but you are such a good boy.” He stares at me intently with eyes that are milky with age. For a brief moment my heart is gripped with a certain sadness: my Poodle love will not be with me forever.
But we are here now…together came the thought, as if carried in on a feather.
So yes, the remainder of our walk had me centered inward more than usual. I’ll attribute my lost-in-thought walk to Hearts of Space (a streaming music service that my brother-in-law got me hooked on several years ago). For the fourth time within a twenty-four hour period I found myself pulled in by this weeks’ music compilation: Specifically program number 1207, titled A Fragile Beauty. This particular playlist features “ambient chamber and choral harmonies for the winter season.” Eleni Karaindrou’s Love Theme and Johann Johannsson’s A Pile of Dust https://youtu.be/L1pnayWa4dYl compelled me to stop and gaze at the seemingly weak winter sun as it struggled to shine through a thick haze of gray clouds. A shiver shook me awake. I must have mellowed inward far too long as The Poodle had decided to plop himself down on a mess of muck and who knows what else as I stood in the morning quiet.
Oh dear….we’re gonna freeze if I have us stand here any longer. Let’s get home. Kibble for you and coffee for me awaits.
The serene, melancholy and ethereal playlist was really a perfect accompaniment on a cold winter morning but it made me pine mightily for spring. And so, the universe delivered for on the walk back towards home I spied the beginnings of tulips and crocuses too, pushing up through frozen earth. Yes! There is the promise of color in the weeks ahead and this lifts my spirits on this, my mellow Monday.
Then around another bend, there’s a pop of color which seals the morning walk with not a promise but a fact. Winter, as in all things…shall pass.
As torn as one can be about the nature of impermanence, there is bliss in that.