I left behind not only a lot of friends but also pieces of nature that were ingrained in my memory throughout many seasons and changes. Images I thought were irreplaceable.
I lived in the Windings, a subdivision that was once an old estate
that had never been farmed. The result manifested itself in ancient trees that the prudent developers left intact as well as nature trails and a delightful little creek that meandered alongside the bike path.
My memories of my children growing up will always remain wrapped
around all of those scenes of nature and the great outdoors. I always
appreciated the gift of living in such a pretty place. My reminiscences are now like pretty hankies saved in a drawer, to be taken out and admired now and then and put back until missed again. So it was with gratitude that I just recently discovered a short cut to the Fox River. I am 1.9 miles away. It was just like looking for my glasses when all along they have just been perched on the edge of my nose. Like looking for my pen when it’s tucked behind my ear. I have new things to marvel at and listen to on my daily walk now. There are different vistas to explore.
Today I walked with my new friend, Shooz. She’s a Virgo and very petite, but despite her short legs she keeps the pace with grim determination, and we mostly communicate telepathically. She also has a very expressive face and one look of pure disdain from her is enough to make you mumble any excuse yourself for your behavior.
Shooz is a black-and-white Shih Tzu that belongs to my pal Mary Carol, who lives right on the Fox. She generously lent me my new companion for the adventure.
The river, like all rivers, tells its story if you are patient enough to pay attention. Shooz had an innate sense of when to listen, and when to stop and when to watch for the gifts from the regal Fox. It will tell you in advance of the weather by the way it is moving. The carp leap in the air this time of year and I have been told they are proclaiming the joy of mating. The fishermen who sit so quietly beside her teach you the value of being still.
Shooz can hear things I can’t so when she slows down I pay attention. Today she stopped and scanned the sky so I followed suit and we both observed a large splendid heron swoop low across the water and land gracefully on the other side. Nearer to the ground there was a nod and a gentle yank and she
confidently moved me quickly on with an I-mean-business demeanor.
When we came to the dam at the bridge on Route 25, we both stood
reverently and listened to the power of the water.
Men in high rubber boots cast their lines contentedly and bikers whooshed by and we both drank in the beauty of the shimmering sun on the water.
A lone rower glided through the
water, his paddles noiselessly slicing through more or less effortlessly.
Shooz made the decision that it was time to turn around now, but I wanted to go on so we had a little contest of wills. I did a little coaxing by flattering her ego with words of praise for her beauty and strength. Like most girls, she is vulnerable to flattery and it worked. We continued on for a long time and on the way back she blamed me for taking her too far, I could tell because she kept rolling in the dirt to pay me back.
When we returned to her owner’s house Shooz immediately collapsed under the kitchen table, turning her cute little self away from me to show her displeasure at my making the walk too long. She’ll forget because it’s impossible for her not to, and I hope we’ll do it again.
It’s a new gift.