Thursday, November 5, 2009

Parliament Serenade

I missed what may very well be the last good day of the year. It was sunny and clear and warm––over 70˚!––and even though my desk at the college is in the darkest, coldest corner, a bleak place without windows or fresh air, Duncan and I were able to enjoy the night. We ventured down The Run, an exercise we've been without since last week's snow and the early darkness. It's become a tricky spot to walk; the steep angle of the north-facing hillside has turned treacherous and slippery under the ice, and too few people are picking up after their pets. Instead we've returned to the park which the high school marching band and soccer hoards have finally abandoned. But tonight, with an orange sherbet sky and warm weather, we trudged through our Run to the Glen.

Duncan was exuberant like I have not seen him in weeks, chasing and romping with two little rabbit-sized pugs he's befriended lately, hunting down stray golf balls (three tonight!) and running back and forth, his body stretched thin and low to the ground, his legs churning and rustling up the leaves, leaving a wake behind him. Occasionally he'd skid to an abrupt halt in a pile of leaves, slide across their brittle backs, kick and fling them up in the air where they'd rain down around his smiling face.

At The Glen I tossed his ball back and forth but the leaves from the aspens have accumulated and the ball was too easily lost among the quilt of their bodies. So we rassled and chased each other up and down the bowl in the earth instead, running rings, jumping back and forth, weaving among the trees. Duncan demanded leaves so I tossed them at his head causing him to rear up and dance among them on his two hind legs before they settled back at his feet.

And then there were the owls. I've laid awake in bed these last few nights trying to sort through all the things in my head, and the owls have been with me, calling to each other outside my window, singing a song only the trees and the night have learned. They roost high in the cottonwoods behind my building, surveying the tall dead grass that borders the golf course, their eyes watchful for the bunnies we chase in the afternoons. Mostly they are invisible, but when I do spy them in the minutes before dawn, their bodies, tall and wide, look like the silhouettes of nests or gnarled knots and were it not for their bobbing horned heads I would miss them entirely.

Tonight there were three of them gathered in the aspens above us. One called down and was answered by its companions. Duncan cantered to a stop and craned his head back to watch them watching us. They continued their conversation, back and forth, back and forth, and even when Roo leaned up against the smallest of the trees they did not fall quiet. I plopped down next to him, buried my sneakers in the leaves, laid back and watched the night come on––orange turning to raspberry then to indigo––and basked in the loveliest of dusk serenades. I could have––and probably should have––spent the night there, Duncan tucked into my side, one paw on my chest, his eyes turned toward the treetops.

1 comment:

bbes tribe said...

What a fun time you both had. We really enjoyed it. Leaves are fun to run through and they are beautiful in the Fall. What great buddies you two are. Wish we could have been there.
Ernie & Sasha