The four-footed companion doesn’t understand the concept of “too much”. As in too much heat because it was beyond war mush today. Which leads me to the next too much which was too much sun. Too much sun isn’t good for me, is great for making lupus worse, but my medications have rendered me so sensitive to the sun that when I have too much I swell up and go an odd pinkish purple. Call me the human puffer fish during those moments.
Now to be fair, the four-footed one found plenty of shade, that which was cast from parked cars and such. It would be fine with me if the shade provided by parked cars covered more than my feet and ankles. With the majority of me exposed to the sun I tend to rely on sunscreen and clothing with sun protection. It also means that I tend to be covered from wrists to ankles.
So today was a day of too much because the weather forecast indicated cloudy and so I packed different clothes for this trip. And thus it took only a short period of time to reach my too much threshold.
I wasn’t always like this, I used to enjoy the sun and the heat and never grasped the concept of too much sun or heat. Sure I still wore sunblock but I als didn’t find myself relating to Dracula as much as I do these days. There simply was no such thing as too much sun or too much heat, rather they were just glorious days. I miss those days..
When I first got diagnosed with lupus, one of the doctors strongly suggested I get a dog if I didn’t already have one. At the time I did not have a dog and I didn’t think it was such a great idea. Not after being told I had a serious illness that could kill me if I didn’t get help to manage it properly.
When I saw the same Doctor a few months later, he asked me if I had a gotten the dog yet. He explained that dogs are wonderful for helping to relax people, reduce stress and make sure that people stay in a routine of getting out and such. What he couldn’t possibly know is that I tend to like my dogs a little on the unusual side. Rarely are these dogs relaxed and sedate. By the same token, these dogs insist on attention and quality time.
What this doctor and several others failed to recognize is that there is something healing about the unconditional love you get from a four-footed friend. If you have an off day, feel like rubbish or what have you, well they still love you and accommodate as best they can. If that means that you can only curl up and rest, you get a short demand for a walk and then they get in resting right near you. Sometimes that’s the best kind of medicine you can get because it does so much for your soul that it helps heal you a little.
The four-footed one was chasing butterflies today. As they crossed her line of vision she’d jump up and try to catch them, thankfully failing each time because for her to catch one would put an end to the flight of those butterflies. Butterflies are surprisingly hardy creatures, however I’m not sure they’d be able to survive the sharp teeth of the four-footed one.
I have a soft spot for butterflies, they are symbols for lupus after all. As delicate as those wings are, as fragile as they appear, butterflies can travel long distances in all sorts of winds and rain. Butterflies are warriors, making their way to where they need to go while dodging birds, bad weather and curious dogs. And let’s not forget the people who capture them in nets to add to collections.
In some regards having lupus is a bit like being a butterfly, minus being able to fly of course. I can appear or even be surprisingly frail and yet still I fight on to a better life or maybe a cure. Some days just carrying out daily tasks seems like a journey of a million miles. Other days it’s possible that the wind and conditions are just right for an easy flight, but I can never let my guard down.
Lupus is crafty one, like a patient person and a butterfly net, lupus waits until I flit into her view. She times her sweep of net just so. The movement, a blur out of the corner of my eye is sometimes enough of a warning to get my wings moving faster. Sometimes I escape the net and enjoy clear days of flight ahead. Other days she is faster, my wings tired from fighting the winds and she captures me in a clear jar, known as a flare. When this happens I must wit for someone to unscrew the jar and set me free from the flare again.
So yes dear friends I was very happy that my four-footed companion wasn’t successful in any of her attempts at capturing s butterfly. For I am the butterfly.
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.
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.