I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Well, La De Da!

I got up early this morning ( having stayed up way too late last night playing with my new toy, the Nexus tablet) and decided that I should just get up and stop trying to go back to sleep. I sat up, coughed, put my slippers on and stood up. OK, I was on my feet. It was going to be a good day.
 I heard a small whine from the corner of the bedroom and knew that Cutter, our sweet Corgi, was asking me if I was really getting up this early and could he come too. I  let him out of his crate and opened the hallway door.  Cutter ran ahead and stopped at Carl's crate so I let Carl out too.
It didn't matter that it was two hours earlier that usual. They are so locked into their routines. First the unabashed happiness of freedom..., the running around, the jumping and making little leaps of joy. It makes you feel happiness just watching them start the day as they do, with the expectation that something wonderful is happening and that life is something to get really excited about. It's contagious.
 Of course, all dogs don't have what we offer, here. Our dogs are in a five star resort hotel and they know it.
They are fed on schedule, have their own "spot" on the sofa, listen to us tell them how wonderful they are and generally think life is about them. It kind of is.
 I also gather that the dogs can read because they obviously heed my wall hung advice.
So this is a post about happiness and what I do to keep the scary fearful "what ifs" away. It's kind of an "in the moment" post that just needed to be written by me today.

After breakfast the dogs and I went outside. The air took my breath away. It was cool and overcast. The fragrance of campfires was in the air. My neighbor was burning near his house. It smelled wonderful.
The dogs disappeared behind the house and I thought about the excitement that ensues when they first go through the front door. They do it many times during the day, but there is always the same enthusiasm. How we could learn from them about the simple joy of the moment.
They aren't "into" the beauty of their surroundings, as much as I am, but they have moments when they make me notice something that I might otherwise miss in my search for beauty. Sometimes they don't find things that are exactly beautiful... but this slug,  in its own way, is a work of art in the natural world.
It's a mollusk and a big one. "It" (I need a better word than "it" because they are both male and female) didn't seem too concerned with "dog face" but then Carl didn't actually touch it. These slimy little creatures are crawling about because of all the moisture.
A long time ago, in my wild youth, I was staying with my grandmother and I walked down to the creek on her property. I sat down and leaned back on a rock to rest. My hand landed on one of these slugs and I was "slimed" for the first time in my life. I guess Carl knew better. He sniffed it and walked away.
I don't care for them but they are interesting creatures.
It actually has a beautiful pattern on its slimy little body. Still don't want to touch it.

 I walked over to the fence and looked out into the driveway. That was when I saw the "paperwhites."

To all of you who are suffering in the frigid north and back east... this is for you.
To remind you that Spring will come and Winter will not stay away forever.
Even in the deathly cold of winter, Spring will push its way through and have its day.
Nothing stays the same... all things come in their time.
 Look death in the teeth, as scary as it is, and think about our impermanent life,
 This cow scull is slowly becoming part of the plants and the earth...like everything.

Slugs only live for about four years, if they're lucky. Dogs only live for eighteen years... max.
Try to live in the moment. It's all we've really got.
 Get a camera. Take pictures of anything that makes you happy..  things that you love.
Buy a puppy. Unleash your joy or at least find what it is that makes you happy and do it. You don't have to leave town and start a new life. It's about small steps within the context of your existing life. Start small... with a smile. Life is short. Lighten up.
I do believe that this is true....

But the flip side is...

And as my favorite poet, Mary Oliver, asked...
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"


  1. love the question in the end...and slugs are cool you know...when the what ifs become too much i have to get out as well...let nature do its thing on me and remind me the cycles...like that spring you mention...

  2. Whoever said money can't buy happiness never bought a dog.

  3. I plan to live it to it's fullest, seeking joy and passion in all things and leaving a grand wake in my path. Thanks for the sunshine, sunshine!

  4. Loved this post. It came at a time when I needed a little happiness. Take care and have a blessed evening. Madeline

  5. hmmm
    I have had a few slump days myself lately...and yes, the realization that I am on the descending spokes of life is sometimes sad for me
    ...I feel this, so I just feel it and then I brush myslef off and head outside too.....
    I find slugs fascinating...even though as a gardener..argh
    but they are only beautiful when you leave them alone..if you have ever picked one up..they curl and slime..and they lose their beauty..they look like a whole lot of stuff you don't want..
    I love your wabi sabi bench
    and your skull returning to the earth
    I hope my fox's skeleton under my deck is returning too
    Loved this post

  6. I needed this post this morning - thank you! Loved the pics and all the details. It's cold again this morning in the Midwest and I cling to knowledge that Spring will come again.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Love the paperwhites. Hard to believe they are blooming. The slug I can do without. They create havoc for my plants! Fortunately I have never had them in AZ, too dry?
    Yes, dogs live in the moment, and they are joy-filled little animals -like your Corgis, as my friend said "Button fell into it" when she came to live with us. Five star resort living, LOL!

  9. I almost missed this incredibly fine post. Love the photos, especially of the cow skull amid the greenery. Slugs are beautiful in their own way and what a wonderful world we live in. Truly.

  10. Nice blog...life in the AC is a rare, fine thing.


Please leave a comment here.
I love to hear what you think about my blog. Feel free to speak your mind. Please be honest.., but remember your manners.