dog walk reverie in spring

Submitted by Susan Miller on Tue, 04/08/2008 - 18:15.

Today we walked morning and afternoon, my dog and I. Round the corner and into the new world as the sun crested over the buildings to our east. The day was cool and young; it was moist. Slick brown patches of mud greeted us, and we spotted a few buds here and there as we rounded another corner and another. Crocuses were pushed up and blooming in the slanted light.

Today she had her first day in the yard as I worked inside with the casement windows flung open. Not caring about screens just yet, I dislodged the replaceable wood framed storm windows and let the inside and the outside merge.

At some point in the day, I stood by the open window and took in my first butterfly sighting of 2008.

A spicebush swallowtail was checking out my flower bed. With each visit to the window the forsythia was more and more yellow, the daylillies taller and greener.

In the slanted evening light, we walked longer. More budding was in evidence. The trees were blushing with their red buds bursting from gray branches. Clumps of moss were scattered like emeralds around tree trunks and in wet places - the brilliance of their verdant mystery revived.

And as we approached the final turn of the walk, we spyed a white pine with new growth shimmering in the retiring sunlight.

Phoebe, the dog has returned to her chair in the living room. The bird song accompaniment continues...

Welcome back Persephone.

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Best location in the nation

  Susan--these reflections are always worth revisiting.  I am in Maryland now, and as much as I love the landscape and the wonderful people here, I will always want to return to NEO, because of the crazy imbalance of community and nature that is northeast Ohio.  Animals are integral to our survival and our lives and nowhere is it more apparent than in rural America.

Here in the semi-rural mountains of western Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania--residents really do live in isolated hollows, removed from a wider community until brought together for family celebrations, religious services, school and market transactions.  People here in this part of the country really are salt of the earth folks and they value community, know the land and they understand their animal "friends," and themselves, as animals.  

The only drawback?--folks here can entertain themselves during a long winter and know how to fix things, but they will have to get into their trucks and cars to see more than twenty people together at once. It can be lonely here.

So, I will head back to the craziness of NEO in a couple of days...wishing I could bring some of the built-in common sense you find around Appalachia, back home to NEO.