Walking Miss Daisy

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. – James Oppenheim

Walking with a dog is something I never thought I could love. My family’s dog is anxious and desperate, constantly pulling at his leash, choking himself as I grit my teeth.
And yet here I am–happy–walking an old, loving Golden, watching our feet blur in tandem, feeling my nose grow stiff in the cold. The neighborhood is laced in fall colors, a dusky blue sky pronounces the cool perfectly.

I lose track of street names, how many times I’ve turned right or left. We are in a maze of cul-de-sacs and developments and then, this sudden, almost misplaced hill on our right. Maybe it’s part of someone’s yard, maybe not. Either way, it is so strange and disconnected; it seems fair game for footing.

I find myself speaking aloud to the river of gold-auburn fur beside me.  “Do you want to go up Daisy? Yea, girl?” She lunges ahead.

I agree. Something feels right about climbing to higher ground.

It’s a steep climb, requires a lot of toe and calf work, even a bit of deeper breathing.
I find myself imaging a giant tribal chief buried beneath the soil, remembering the Indian
burial mounds on the land where my father grew up.

At the top, I turn and look.

It’s not looking down the tops of red and brown-tinted trees that gets me. Not even how wonderfully part of the elements I feel–the wind abrasive and untamed. It is nothing I can define or express. I am glad for no other reason than simply being.

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