There is nothing like the tang of salt in the air from the ocean. On windy days like today, the sea air is brought to us without having to hit the beach. And on windy days like today, the sea birds don’t seem to be as talkative, perhaps it takes more concentration to just stay in flight during these days. Since I don’t fly, at least not like the birds do, I’m not really sure if it’s harder to talk and fly in the wind or not.
The four-footed one doesn’t like the strong winds that kicked up today, although she seemed intrigued to smell the salty air without going to the beach. It mingled with the scent of the juniper and cedar not to mention the flowers popping up everywhere. She rolled around in the grass, her wee nose twitching so quickly I thought it would fall off. Then she would suddenly pop up and go running around the garden again to follow a new smell, until she was distracted once more.
The sea air even fills the house on days like today when you open the windows. It’s as if you are living on the beach without the sand getting everywhere! Days like today remind me how special it is to live so close to the water without being right on it. It is the of everything because I can enjoy the salt air when it comes without taking it for granted because it’s always there.
Toes. Those little digits on the ends of your feet. Small little things that have a habit of getting in the way or striking objects. Toes are marvellous things when they are wiggling in the warm sand of a beach. Toes are wonderful for squishing in mud or letting thick carpet fluff up between them.
Of course we use our toes for walking and balance, but that’s only when you look at them from a practical vantage point. For some people another practical aspect of toes just happens to be this neat ability to pick items with them. Kind of like our cousins the monkeys. And yes some folks can use their toes for climbing trees or rocks.
I don’t normally consider my toes, unless I’ve smacked them into a table leg or put a chair leg on top of one of my toes. But these days I’m thinking a bit more about my toes because of the four-footed one. You see she has taken to going for longer walks, specifically in the hillside areas. My toes are paying the price for her love of adventures during the day. The price is increased pain, probably from all the times I cracked or broke them in the past. My toes are not made for hill walking it seems.
At first I thought my toes hurt because of my shoes. I thought my feet were sliding around and banging into the ends of my shoes, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. As best the professionals can tell I’m just continuing to make smaller jig saw puzzle pieces with my bones, specifically my toe bones.
The four-footed one is a bit like a tank in that no terrain is safe from her paws. Grass? She uses it as a pillow. Dirt? Bring in on. Mud? She is an expert in the stuff. Rocks? If there small she will walk in them, larger ones are meant for climbing on. Sand? She exfoliates her paws with the stuff. She loves the feel of damp moss and isn’t fussed by the texture of twigs. She washes her toes in puddles and glides on the snow and ice.
Her owner on the other hand is not a tank. Her owner does not always enjoy the terrain we encounter on our walks. Snow and ice aren’t so much a glide as a slide or slip! I’d prefer not to have my toes squishing in the mud or damp moss. Damp sand is acceptable if we are walking along the beach. Rocks and twigs aren’t my thing; I don’t mind grass, just not with bare feet.
So why am I telling you this? Because dear friends today’s walk started with cement which gave way to dirt and grass. The dirt and grass gave way to rocks and sticks on hard packed dirt. And all of that stuff led me to realize that my companion, the one I thought was a dog, is in fact a tank of sorts. While I was struggling with the terrain she was having a ball. While my feet were less than thrilled her paws were in paw heaven. Somehow this doesn’t seem fair. And I wonder how I got to where I am. So it a case of too many hours in shoes or is this why early humans perhaps were more nomadic, to get away from things which were unpleasant underfoot? Did I mention I’m in awe of this sweet dog of mine? That is when my feet aren’t suffering from the path she chooses for us!
One of the most fascinating things I’ve rediscovered with the four-footed one is that no two days are the same. Of course this also goes for no two walks are the same. Not even if you take the route within the same day. There is always something a little different that must be investigated with a focus on detail and diligence.
I suppose there is something magical about really getting caught up in the moments and just embracing them as they come along. A person, well at least this person, would be wise to let things be more magical and less spent focused on a million things happening in her head. But of course the minute I try to be more in the moment something pops into head and I end up seeing the walk as the same one we just did.
I should point out to you that part of my problem may come from the fact that I don’t use my nose to capture the scents on a walk. Well let me correct this, I notice some smells, but I’m not like the dog in that when I’m walking I’m not doing it with my nose down on the ground. Granted it’s impossible for me to walk with my nose on the ground, but you get what I mean.
Perhaps this is part of why I can’t live in the moment and instead in my head…I just can’t focus on something as it is. Perhaps deep down inside I’m just someone who has to destruct things first.
There isn’t a hole in my bucket, so I suppose I could use it to fetch water. Except there is a hole…in my shoe, and it lets water in. I didn’t know this hole existed until today because today there was a downpour which resulted in puddles that simply could not be avoided. The act of steeping in unavoidable puddles allowed me to discover the hole. The discovery resulted in one very cold, wet foot. This discovery also resulted in a much shorter walk for my four-footed friend.
A friend pointed out that since my foot was already soaked and my four-footed friend didn’t seem to mind her wet paws it was a bit selfish on my part to cut the trip short. True, but why be miserable with a soggy, squishy shoe if you don’t have to be? Yes I understand the reality is that at some point you simply cannot get anymore wet so why bother heading for dry space especially if the dog is enjoying herself. I guess that makes me selfish. I’m okay with that in this case because hello…a hole in my shoe and a wet foot.
Have no fear, the four-footed one will be compensated for her walk being cut short. And I shall say goodbye to my old shoes.
We get, or at least I get, so caught up in the mundane yet seemingly important minutiae of the day-to-day stuff. And this getting caught up bit sometimes comes at a rather high price. For me it means losing touch with people, dropping out of conversations and relationships without so much of a sideways glance.
The thing is, none of it is deliberate on my part. I sometimes wonder if there is something broken in me beyond the usual brokenness. I wonder if I’m too broken to be active and attentive to friends and such when something catches my attention or interest. Perhaps I’m too shallow and self-absorbed to be present with the people that matter in my life.
I recognize it once it has happened, but while it is happening I’m too lost in whatever to even realize I’ve pushed people away. Or ignored people’s attempt at engaging me. It is a singular focus and when required my ill-health helps to further this isolation. The really wild thing I clearly don’t see how damaging this is in the long run. I mean surely if I got how damaging this is I’d stop doing it, and I haven’t stopped doing it so there is that.
Do you suspect that some people just need that much personal time and space or is there something broken about this?
A mouse rested in the corner, just there, by the kitchen. A small bunny had made its way, unnoticed, into the kitchen and was now sitting silently and still in the middle of the floor. There were more critters in various locations through the house. A monkey was perched on the edge of a chair, his tail hanging down the back. A duck had managed to make a safe landing by the flower-pot.
No, I don’t live in a zoo, nor is it a rescue house. Yes I do adore animals and wouldn’t put it past myself to have a myriad of them, but that isn’t in the cards right now. What is in the cards right now is a four-footed companion with her own zoo of dog toys.
Now and then she decides she must set them all free and spread throughout the house. Today was one of those days. It started with a green frog being carried into the hallway. Then the pink elephant broke out of jail, also known as the toy box. After that the great escape happened as a bear, Buffalo, owl and lamb were rushed to safe places. I lost rack after that.
I found the bunny purely by accident, my foot made contact with something soft while I was doing something in the kitchen. The something soft skittered across the floor from my kick and that’s when I saw the mouse. The four-footed one however was nowhere to be found. Perhaps rescuing all her friends was too much. Maybe that’s why in found her fast asleep under the dinning room table all by herself.