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A Meadow Walk with Sophie




June 20, 2009

Sophie, our 14 year old nearly blind and nearly deaf heartdog, renders her plaintiff bark over and over until I finally take her out for the fourth time this morning! We head down the meadow toward the hillocks. With curious caution we peer through the mother lavender plants to look for Footloose II, the 10 foot long black snake that suns on the dryrock wall, primed for any lizards or frogs that happen by. Breathing resumes as we only see dragonflies and bees drinking the calm lavenderade.

I follow the path and Sophie swishes through the meadowgrass after plopping down and rolling in the freshly cut yardgrass. We meet further down the path and greet as if we’re just now ‘seeing’ long lost friends.

Then off to the Fairie Hillock to look for any new signs of activity. This hillock is my ‘special baby’. I proudly peruse the dirt to look for any new signs of moss spreading to new places. It has so changed from when I first pulled the bramble of vines and raked the leavings from the trees to discover little magical patches of moss here and there. Where once there were a few patches, it has spread to form connecting mossmountain ranges that go from one end of the hillock to the other! I puzzle as to what has made it spread so. I know I did my part, but so did the natural world. Is it science or spirit or attention or the natural order of things? or the chaos of deer and animals stirring up the moss that is there and spreading it around? I guess I’ll never know about this or any other great creation of life! It’s such a mysterious menagerie!

Was it my buttermilk and moss concoctions in the blender, my misting, my forever collecting of pieces of moss here and there to carefully add to the menagerie? There was all the sulfur I sprinkled to make the soil acidic, and my sporadic weeding of grass and other limblike invaders that tried to hide the beauty of the green cushiony blankets underneath.

As I ponder and play with all these thoughts, Sophie goes straight for the half dug pond that has filled with leaves and muck from the umteeenth rainshower. She paws at the leaves, looking for something…either the mud underneath that she likes to chomp and chew or fresh water to cool her scorched tongue, or some toad to muse upon?

Then off we go to check out the newly blooming thistles I’ve been eyeing further down the path. As we closen, a large deer startles the nearby grasses. I look for a little spotted one to scramble after her, yet none appears. The thistle flowers are so purple! so brilliant! I don’t want to miss a single one! I’m so thrilled that we saved them from the crazy tractor woman who mows the meadowpaths! (that woman is me! creating paths in the meadow is another passion of mine.) There are a few ‘flower families’ throughout the meadow that need protecting from me, myself, and I, so they, myself, and others can enjoy them in their moments of brilliance.

Further on we head for the bigger mucking pond in the woods. Sophie has discovered it with all her senses as she wades through the tall pondgrasses to enjoy the coolness of the shade and slimy water with all the other creatures. I leave her there as I explore the other family of thistles that are more on a lane than in a garden grouping. Even the round unopened buds are so full of possibility and beauty.

I can’t help dreaming about pruning this limb, or clearing this little shady nook. I want to hold the beauty, the smells, the sounds, the pulse of it all in my breath and being forever. And I do!