Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The heart demands a walk

I live in a city blessed with four lakes, bike paths, food carts and dog parks. The dog parks come in many flavors: an eighth-acre spot downtown, expansive prairie, river edge with docks. At some you can see the capitol mid-isthmus, at some rocks left by the Ice Age, at others sandhill cranes flying over to a marsh. We have startled an adult deer mid-park who then launched himself into the lake, at a brisk swim. And if we are lucky, there are dead fish or scat to roll in.

Today we went to the park with the capitol view. It’s actually on an old dump, buried below, scent free (to me) and with ample breeze, songbirds and tall grasses. It has shaded picnic tables and a small dog section. 

That's pure joy in this smile.

I often see the same folks at this park, round and round we go. Some are clients, some just regulars. Tiny Dog panics a bit when a pack approaches, clawing my left calf, so she often rides around the park perched in my arm, her front paws wrapped around my wrist, her back legs loose along my side. She’s relaxed, loves the good view from above, and I am guessing, feels protected. The other two, at 12 pounds are on their own, and like it this way. They act more like typical dogs, interacting and smelling and sometimes chasing. If the approaching dogs are too big and too close, George has a lot to say. She’s very bossy. 

Running at full tilt down the path.

I have been to this park, the closest to my house, in rain, in snow, in cloudless summer skies. You can hear traffic from all sides, but then there’s a meadowlark declaring its territory in song. People say hello or nod, and we go back to our circular paths, worn to dirt from all the walking. The scent of fall is subtle but a hint under our feet.

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