Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Changed Heart, a Necessary Sadness

It is no secret that I prefer Spring and Summer over Autumn and Winter. As the season warms and the world greens, I have always felt my spirit change––a thrumming in my blood and bones and a calming to my ever-racing thoughts––as the leaves unfurl on the trees and the blossoms emerge from their brown, bark cocoons, their sweet fragrance wafting across the fields and into my open windows. And then in the fall, when the world turns orange and red, and a perpetual sunset seems to hover over us, a necessary sadness overtakes me with the realization that the birds have fallen silent and the tufts of dandelion and cottonwood snow are an eternity away.

This year I have kept my eye on a single maple leaf that hangs directly in our path when we walk down The Run. Sometime in June a six-legged critter, possibly one of the fat green caterpillars that I marvel at, paused on its journey and snacked a heart-shaped hole into its perfect surface. That shape became a symbol of the joy that overtakes me each Spring, of the love I feel for the season. I have watched it daily, reached with my hand to gently push it out of my way and peer through the heart at the blue sky and green cottonwoods on the other side. I have fallen in love with that lone leaf and have watched for it each and every time Duncan and I have ventured outside on our walks.

This past week, when the weather turned consistently cold and the wind found its bite, I have watched it yellow and then turn orange. This morning I discovered that most of its sibling leaves had been pulled free of their mooring and lay scattered on the ground at our feet. While Duncan peered in Jeffrey's window for a sign of the cats he loves to play with, I rushed forward to check on my leaf with its heart-shaped hole. My stomach dropped, my mind raced. I should have plucked it free and taken it home to keep with me always as a reminder of these days and these walks Dunc and I have shared. When I finally found it, I ran my thumb across its surface and watched it flutter in the wind, its skin, once thick and juicy, now brittle and dry as an old woman's foot. I wanted to pull it loose but then changed my mind and decided to let it be, to allow the wind to carry it at the time of its choosing, at the moment it was destined to fall, flying briefly, rejoicing in a sudden and exhilarating freedom before the hand of gravity pulled it to its final resting spot. Such a simple decision, and one most people would regard as unnecessary, but it took all my will power to let it go, to look back one more time not knowing if I would see it again. And while Duncan ran blissfully across the park, rolling his face against the stiff, frosted grass, my mind kept wandering back to the maple, back to its fate, and that necessary sadness claimed me once again.

There is a fierce wind out tonight, loud and cold and tireless. The branches are beating against each other like old enemies and while Duncan lays curled up at my feet, his chin resting so gently against and warming the top of my foot, my thoughts are out there in the dark, worrying for my heart, wondering if it will still be there in the morning.

If you like this post, I'd like to hear from you. Comments mean more than you can imagine.
If you like the photos, be sure to subscribe to my photo blog, Journeys and Destinations.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


We have had frost and then Indian Summer, and then snow and a second sweet Indian Summer again, with the grass still green but crisp, the leaves––orange and gold and amber––still clinging to the boughs and branches, their silhouettes perfect against the early evening sunset, as they should be at this time of year. The air is cool on our walks but heavy with the fragrance of tired, brown earth, and the steadily falling and drifting Autumn quilt from above.

Autumn is not my favorite time of year, but it is rich with poetry and magic.

This evening I watched a timid and delicate breeze, maple-scented and playful, pluck a single leaf from the ground, spin it around on its invisible axis, and flutter it across our path, flapping it like the wings of a golden butterfly in the last rays of the sun. Duncan stopped, his ears perked high, and watched for the emergence of a mouse or one of the small birds that like to dart from the shrubs, flapping a moment before his dancing nose before hurrying for cover among the deep shadows of the trees. When no creature appeared, he seemed content, as I was, to witness the mystery and delight of the season and relish something far beyond his comprehension.

At moments like these I wonder if it would be wrong to have the power to explain it to him, or if it would be a blessing to see it through his eyes, to watch without question or hope of explanation, and simply experience it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Duncan's Commercial Promos for Hero's Pets Part 1

Last Summer Chelsea at Hero's Pets asked if Duncan and I wanted to make more commercials for her store. Two months later the results are finally in. Unfortunately I can't post all three spots in a single post so there are two more following this.

Duncan and I make only the briefest of appearances in this first commercial so be sure to watch the other two.

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Duncan's Commercial Promos for Hero's Pets Part 2

Here's the second promo Duncan and I did for Hero's Pets last summer. We play a much bigger part in this one but be sure to watch all three. And be sure to let the good people at Hero's (my friends) know how great you think they are!

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Duncan's Commercial Promos for Hero's Pets Part 3

Here's the longest of the three promos Duncan and I filmed for Hero's Pets last summer.

Be sure to visit their website, stop by if you're in the area, or give them a call to let them know what you think. Hero's is Dunc's favorite place in the world. Make it yours, too.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Where's the Waldo?

Can you spot the fresh, warm goody someone was inconsiderate enough to leave behind after their dog tended to its Big Job?

Neither could I. And I and my new shoes are most perturbed, thankyouverymuch.

Not leaving a comment is almost as inconsiderate as the mess I wandered into this morning. So be a chum and say something nice.