On Winter Walks
: from The Labs :
Winter reminds me of the sweetness of warmer days. I don’t mind the cold, and frankly, I miss the much needed rain we are supposed to have this time of year. But California is going through a drought this winter; a fact that did not become present in my mind until I realized the green was missing from our rolling hills, that “winter feeling” I cherish on cold mornings as a perfect excuse for a fat sweater and a good cup of coffee by the fire… and our beloved Shollenberger Park walk, dressed in dry, cracked sand with a multitude of marsh birds gathered wanting for the food and shelter this place supplies.
Winter walks remind me of the passage of time, relentless. But regardless, I always find comfort in this gift we fittingly call The Present, in the company of the one being that can make me aware of it: a dog. Willow will turn two years old in a couple of days, and my awareness focuses on the sound of her paws on the trail, the jingle of her tags and getting lost in her wild, yellow eyes. I loop back in my mind, to pondering the passage of time, wondering how many more winter walks we will have together… and then deciding to settle happily for this one. After all, today is a gift, drought or no drought.