Monday, June 27, 2011

A Kind Rain

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done? 
(The Summer Day, Mary Oliver)

It was a simple request Duncan made, tugging as he did on his leash and leaning far away from me, as horizontal to the grass as the physics of my grip on his leash would allow. The sky had darkened in many but not all places and a surprisingly cool summer rain was beginning to fall, its big drops making loud, almost obscene smacking sounds on the pavement around us, refusing to evaporate in the golden, early-evening light and scattering the diligence of the ants working there. Duncan tugged again and looked parkward, where the sky was considerably darker and the grass beneath it had turned a sort of menacing gray. North of us it was vast and blue and I knew if we waited only an hour we would miss the rain and return home for dinner unhurried and dry, content. But the imploring eyes and wishes of dogs are stronger than physics so I relented and let him lead me across the street, the big rain falling on my cheeks, running cold trails down my neck past the collar of my t-shirt where they slid onto my back.

It was a good rain, though, the kind where the sun has somehow managed to find itself trapped above the horizon but below the line of clouds and mountains, its last gold concentrated and sweet, radiant and crisp in the haze of rain. Duncan's tail and head were high and I found myself not minding the wet in my hair or the diamond glitter in my eyes. We walked through it, and ran occasionally, without self-consciousness or even the desire for shelter. And when it passed to the south and was gone, when the sun had returned and the sky blued before us once again, calmly and without show, we spread out on our bellies on the cool grass and played together, rolling and talking, both of us smiling, one of us chewing a stick the other watching the storm move away, the light receding after it.

Sometimes, when the day has been long and I am very tired, I reflect on my life before the obligation of a dog, before I was faced with the choice of staying dry or allowing the rain to soak my clothes, when my days were my own and I could come and go as I pleased, and I think, That life was so much simpler; what happened to it? But this one, this incredibly beautiful life I have chosen, is far richer and I would not trade it for anything.


There really is no choice to be made at all, is there.

6 comments:

Dee said...

...which one of you was chewing on the stick?

Finn said...

That's a great post. I love the bottom pic too!

Joey and Kealani said...

Oh so true Curt!!! I have had that thought too but then look at my dogs and know they saved my life and its all worth it!!! And yep Ive walked in a sudden rain storm and look down at my dogs and the rain brings out the smells and Ill stand there all the while watching them not minding getting wet!!! Its all about them and Ive been as blessed as you have!!! Hugs, Valerie

MAXMOM IN SA said...

A Golden retriever is not a breed....it's a way of life! Enjoy every moment, Curt.
Hugs to Duncan.
Sending lotsaluv
MAXMOM IN SOUTH AFRICA

Berts Blog said...

It is like we traded diamonds for a much finer and more beautiful reality. Ya gotta have a dog.

love your posts and your view of life

Greg said...

This post is at least as beautiful as that image of Duncan.