The four-footed one is full of curiosity. She wants to know how things work, how to bypass systems, and, most importantly, what is just over there. Sure all dogs are curious to some extent, but she seems to be interested, for at least twenty-two hours a day, every day.
This curiosity needs to be fed in some way; otherwise, she gets mildly destructive. I failed to understand this at first, and a favorite pillow paid the price. I assume she wanted to know what was inside the beautiful material. I came home to shredded material and a feather-covered dog.
I didn’t get upset with her, I mean I did for a few moments before realizing the problem wasn’t her, it was me. I did some research and purchased games to keep her occupied when I needed to leave her for any length of time.
Here she likes to explore the great outdoors Primarily, she loves seeing what’s just down there, you know, under the grass or in the dirt. She is a digger by nature and proving her worth with speed and depth. So far, both neighbors haven’t minded her exploring what’s right under the fence. I may have to get more games to keep her occupied!
The four-footed one is beginning to look a bit like a wild one. Her fur is naturally wiry and messy, even after being brushed. Given the state of affairs right now, she needs proper grooming, you know, the professional kind. However, that isn’t in the books right now with everything being closed and all.
It’s okay though, I mean I can’t say much either because my hair is getting a bit crazy as well. I guess we are a matched pair, her looking all wild and puffy, and I look in need of a good trim, which will help give my hair body again.
Most folks are in the same time of situation unless you can cut your hair professionally. Or you are one of those lucky few who are blessed with perfect hair. You know the kind–the people who can get out of bed after a night of tossing and turning and somehow still have perfect hair.
Have I mentioned that I am not one of those people? So as I was looking at little Ms. Four-feet and how easily she has embraced her wild look, I was trying hard not to think about the mess is my hair.
I once knew an amazing woman who could make anything work with what she had in the house. I am not that amazing woman.
If she wanted to make something and didn’t have the right ingredients, she didn’t run out to the store to buy what was needed. She made do with what was in the house. No sugar? No worries, she would grab some syrup and use that instead. Need oil, and you don’t have any? Try applesauce.
If she needed to make something out of material, she would whip out a needle, thread, scissors, materials, and whatever else she needed and craft a variation of what she needed.
I believe in some ways, she was a throwback from another time, a time when people had no choice but to be self-sufficient—a time when the corner store wasn’t just around the corner. A time when people grew vegetables in gardens, fruit off their trees, and raised their own meat.
Although I never saw it in the time I knew her, I’m pretty sure she could manufacture anything out of wood if it were required. At the time, I wondered why she didn’t just buy what she needed. Now I know why because she didn’t have to. She could manage her needs and wants within her own means.
Yeast and I have a love-hate relationship. I love items made with yeast, such as bread and buns. These are delicious comfort foods for me, and oh how I have tried to make my own. The thing is, the yeast doesn’t like me.
It refuses to do that magical work that it seems to do for everyone else. Beloved and I can use the same source of yeast, and he will make lovely bread. I will make a beautiful looking rock that doesn’t rise. Don’t even try to eat what I make either unless you don’t want to keep your teeth!
Not to be deterred by previous failures, I try again to make either a loaf of bread or a batch of buns. To date, I have mastered beautiful looking products. Beautiful looking and completely inedible.
I guess you could say I’ve managed to work on the appearance of my products, with no success whatsoever where quality is concerned. Now I now that having cold hands can be part of the issue, and unfortunately, part of lupus means Raynauds phenomenon for me, which means cold hands.
Today I concluded that my gift is not in the making of the bread, but rather the breaking and consuming of it.
Not that long ago, it seems, Beloved held out his hand for me to take while he started up the music. He suggested I kick off my shoes and join him in the garden for a bit of “fun” for a few moments.
I recall the sun had yet to set, the air was warm, and he pulled me to him. We danced as the sun started to set. We danced in the pale purple of the coming night, and it seems we were still dancing when the moon was bright overhead.
Somehow during that time, I didn’t worry about stepping on an insect, our neighbors, or anything other than being with him. I was aware of the time shifting, and yet somehow, it seemed like time ceased to exist. It was just the three of us as the four-footed one switched between watching us and joining us.
It wasn’t yesterday, still the same I can recall it as if it were. Perhaps because he isn’t here now, I find these moments surfacing again. Each detail so bright and vivid.
Memory is a strange thing. I can recall that time with no effort, but ask me about time in the market two weeks ago, and I have no way to tell you about it. Selective recall I guess, which isn’t bad trouble to have
Beloved has a favorite tea cup. It has weathered moves across the world, soothing him when he’s come to a culture he doesn’t understand.
This teacup, while incredibly thin and delicate, somehow has a strength to withstand his grip. There is a patina of sorts, stains from the millions of times it has held tea, which have a stubborn determination to claim the white porcelain as a lover.
I’ve learned that this is the cup to use when he is happy or upset. Either way, it is “right” for his “hand.” I know not to pull it off the shelf if he is angry or impatient for the same reasons.
He never uses a teabag when he is using this cup. Instead, he only usees it for a proper pot of tea, the stuff that is so strong I’m surprised the cup hasn’t dissolved.
The teacup reminds me of him and how complex he is. This cup should easily break in my hand, or his, but it has a strength I do not understand. This cup should be chipped with use and age, but it looks the same as the first day I encountered it at the store. It came home with me wrapped up as if it was the most fragile thing in the world.
That very day he a proper pot of tea, and I thought he’d break the cup with how he insisted on holding it. Since that day, I have heard the sound of that cup being firmly placed on the counter, I’ve listened to tea splash into it, and a spoon gently hit its side. Yes, the teacup is a lot like Beloved, a paradox full of contradiction, but always there when you need it.
There is a place I go where the wind runs through it, and yet you never feel it. The people who built it so long ago seemed to understand something I cannot comprehend. They’ve mastered the intense wind of the area, using it to cool the space when it is hot, or allowing it to whip warmth in during the colder spells.
I am not a master builder. I never even mastered massive, Lego building projects when I was younger. Impatience perhaps prevented me from enjoying hours of putting stuff together. However, I can marvel at this masterpiece made by someone so long ago.
There is another place I know of, where the sky is close enough it seems you only need to hold out a finger to touch it. I don’t know who built this place either, high above the grounds. They were masters as well, making the platform appear to be natural and a part of the landscape.
I have none of these skills to build or figure out these complexities. I do, however, have an excellent appreciation for how these places affect me. Hopefully, that is enough for whoever those creators were.
I do not enjoy the violence that happens with boxing, but I do admire the fighters who pick themselves back up and keep at it. I admire their determination despite exhaustion and pain. I admire their ability to do it again. They find a way to keep rising to the call, regardless of what happened in the previous moments.
There are days where walking around seems to be more than enough, where placing one foot in front of the other is as challenging as picking yourself up off the mat. There are days where I feel as if I have taken every punch offered to me, and I am so close to breaking down.
Some days, a short walk feels like I have scaled mountains without taking a break. Those days, I know I still have mountains to climb and valleys to descend, this is also known as the walk back from where I came.
Regardless, like those fighters who pick themselves up, give themselves a shake and throw themselves back into the ring, I find a way to put one foot in front of the other and then repeat the process. It isn’t always easy, it certainly isn’t always pretty or graceful, but it is something I can still do. So if you should encounter me on one of those days, please don’t think me slow or to be pitied, recognize the fight and determine it takes to carry on carrying on.
The four-footed one is a girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She isn’t scared to let you know how she feels about you. She loves with a fierceness that takes my breath away. She dislikes on a spin of her heels, but she forgives just as quickly.
I fell like my heart has been stolen by this little bundle of fur, leaving me a way behind her in this love she has. A look with those eyes, a cock of the head, or perhaps a wag of that tail is all it takes to remind me that I haven’t figured her out yet.
Someone once told me that dogs are simple to understand. They thrive on food, love, positive reward, and attention. Provide them with nourishment, love, shelter, and gentleness, and you will have it all figured out. But this one leaves me doubting that I have it all figured out.
Just when I am sure I have no clue what’s going on, she comes back and swipes that pick tongue of her’s along my hand, as if it says, “I got you.” Every step along the path of our relationship, she teaches me something new or leaves me doubting my take on her. Regardless, we a team, the two of us.
Lost in the static of a poor connection were the unsaid words that seem best unspoken, yet rattle around my head. I couldn’t even whisper them when they needed to be spoken loudly and often.
Beloved knows me well enough to know what I didn’t say, and as if I had uttered them, he answered with a solemn “aye lass.” There is some kind of magic there, the kind that lets him know what I can’t say.
In the silence, we find a way to speak regardless. I don’t understand how he does it; I’m just grateful that he does.
It’s the same as when he says, “aye lass,” I know what he means, even when he says nothing else.
Somehow, with those simple words said, a weight slipped off my shoulders and drift out into the wind. I could stand again, the horrors of the day moving away. Because those simple words told me no matter how far I go, no matter what I see or do, I can always go home to him and have everything washed clean again. No matter where I go on this earth, no matter what I do, he is my talisman and touchstone.