Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Thank you to a fellow blogger



I was just easing myself to full consciousness this morning by playing my weekly catch up after ‘the grind’ on blogs that I follow only to receive a metaphorical kick up the backside. I had just clicked onto one of my firm favourites at ‘Wandering Owl Outside’ with the usual expectation of having before me an excellent post coupled with Owl’s superb pictures.  Disappointed? Not a snowballs chance in hell, once again Owl had put together another fine piece which I thoroughly enjoyed, the man has heart and soul when it comes to expressing his love of the outdoors. I moved on to others but there was something there, something not quite right. Just a feeling that something was amiss, you know that itch you can’t quite pinpoint. I returned to Owl’s post and reread it a couple of times, yes I fully understood from where he was coming but why the feeling of, well of melancholy really? I turned in my chair with the intention of making a brew and there was the answer, eyes boring into my own.

You see I’ve been neglecting my duties towards the bog monster a little lately. Remember my posting a while ago about her being unwell, well to honest I’ve not been convinced that the old girl has made a full recovery, she’s been lethargic, a tad miserable and to be honest a little aggressive with some of the local dogs, not a biting rabid aggression just a grumbling keep well away from me aggression, not like Lucy at all. The net result has been the walks restricted to on the leash ambles around suburbia and me not bothering to hit the trails. I could give you plenty of reasons for this; parents older and more frail, ‘the grind’ really grinding (oh if you really knew) and mush too much spinning around in my pea brain. I realised, through Owl’s words, that the one thing that I’d put to one side was the damn thing that we both needed – ‘out there’.

I still paused to make and drink me brew (I really cannot function without at least a gallon of the stuff first thing) and then we were off, shorts n sandals on (scary image I know so I’ll save you the horror of a picture) ZZ top’s “just got paid today” on repeat at a rather high decibel setting in the fun cruiser and old smelly in her usual position of head on the back seat gazing intently at the road ahead.

I didn’t take Owl’s course and hit a new trail, I still held some concern about how Lucy would cope, so familiar and steady was the order of the day.  I kept the pace toned down a little, one because of Lucy but secondly to let us both absorb the impact of just being ‘out there’ once more. As we ambled along I realised that I may well have been overprotective with the little mite as she started to stretch her limbs at full bore down the trails, she may well be getting on a bit but she’s like a bat out of hell when she’s at full tilt, I found myself smiling, not inside but one of those Johnny Cash shit eating smiles. All the burdens and cares that have been starting to weigh heavy upon me lately were being scorched away by Lucy’s antics, the sun and the light breezes that caressed my face.

As we meandered further along the path that I’d picked, deliberately heading for open glades and of course fuller ditches, I was struck by the variety of flowers that had burst out since our last visit, I hope that the pictures give some idea as to the vibrant colours on show in the forest.
With the sun climbing higher and the temperature rising swiftly we turned tail and headed back to the fun cruiser. Mother Nature had wound her spell on us both once more and to quote Owl; “and the fresh air has really helped my attitude. So yes, I’ll get some fishing done and post it here, sometime…But right now, I’m thinking of hitting some new trails. The exploring has created some sparks”. All I can add to his words is thank you Owl for putting me back on track.

The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
—From The Fellowship Of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
(Ok Owl so I pinched your idea, but hey Mr. Tolkien did have a way with words.). And as for Lucy? well I guess you could say that normal service has well and truly been resumed.

Thanks for taking the time to read all the way to the bottom,
Your friend,
John


10 comments:

2 Tramps said...

So glad that you both had such a great time out exploring. I find that being outside clears my head and reminds me what I truly enjoy.

R. Gabe Davis said...

people and dogs belong in the woods. I know I am always happier outdoors. So are dogs.

Diane-Sage said...

Glad you both found your balance. I too get out and about and just stop and listen. I watch, I smell and I think. Best medicine ever.
Love the photos, it is beautiful where you live. ZZ Top eh? Got their greatest hits and I too have a fav song of theirs. Now I am going to check out Owl's blog...the name caught my eys considering my last name is WhiteOwl. Have a good one eh?

Shoreman said...

Always a pleasure to read about Lucy taking you for a stroll. Like I told Casey, "Communing with Nature has a very calming effect on body and soul". Keep the stories coming.

Mark

Bob Mc said...

Every now and then we have to put the chores on the back burner for awhile, and get back to the important things in life. Glad Lucy is back to her old self.

Mo said...

Inspirational. Thanks for posting.

Le Loup said...

A coincidence that you made this post, I lay awake last night thinking for some unknown reason of my dear departed dogs, and the times we used to have. They really were very good friends of mine. They might give you THAT look once in a while, but rarely question your decisions. They are always there by your side and could always tell when I was sad. Another dog would be good in some ways, but I have lost so many friends now, human and dog, that despite being lonely a lot of the time I for some reason don't want to get another dog.
Take care. Le Loup.

wanderingowloutside said...

Hi John!

One of the reasons I started blogging in the first place was to inspire folks to get out and enjoy the natural world around them. I know it doesn't take much to get you outdoors, but I am glad that you felt that kick in pants from clear over here! Your meanderings with Lucy are a great read, and I love how you can catch her with that "look". The pics of the flowers in this post are awesome, too.

I am flattered beyond comprehension for the compliments you paid me here. Thank you. Your posts do the same for me also, as you can tell by the click everyday from my site!

Peace -

Casey

Wolfy said...

You have NO IDEA how badly I need to follow the lead that you and Owl have started on. Sadly, even the brief forrays into the places I love are overshadowed by the dread of knowing what awaits me when the damned Blackberry gets back in phone signal range.

Thanks for the well written and inciteful post, as always.

Murphyfish said...

Mmmm now there’s a bunch of comments, where to begin now to express my thanks to you all? At the top and work down I guess, so here goes.

2 Tramps,
Time spent like this seems to be to best cure all that I know; head clearer, worry remover, smile maker and at peace giver. Seems to work on bog monsters as well!

Gabe,
For me and Lucy the woods certainly seem to wrap us in a welcoming blanket, but also the sea draws me in a way and in such depth that I struggle to find the words to describe the feelings it brings to me, and of course being welsh the mountains sing to my heart and sole.

Diane-Sage,
Balance, now that’s probably the most descriptive word that you could have used to describe the feeling of been one with natures cycle once I’d dragged (ok once Lucy had dragged) us out there. Glad you like the photos, and yes we are blessed with the country here in North Wales. Ah ZZ top, where to begin? But their not the only band to grace the fun cruisers speakers from rock to classical or from acoustic sets to film scores, it all comes down to mood and destination I think. Please do check out Owl’s blog, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy.

Hey Mark,
Glad that your still enjoying Lucy’s and her sidekicks adventures, hopefully there will be many more to come.

Bob,
I’m planning to neglect the chores a damn side more often in the future, as you say there’s more important things in life. Lucy says thanks for the concern (or was that where’s me dinner?)

Mo,
Thank you so much for the comment, humbled that you should think so.

Le Loup,
I can understand to a degree from where you’re coming my friend, a dogs span is relatively short and the heartache felt once they are gone is hard to deal with. But the love and devotion that they give, asking for naught in return is something that I would not like to live without. In the short time that we’ve got to know one another I’m sure that you’d be a brilliant companion for a dog. I’m sure that a sight hound or a boxer (nearest thing I know that resembles an 18th centaury baiting dog) would love to share your life and adventures. It’s all I’ll say on the matter (for now) as we all chose our paths through life. Take good care my friend.

Ahh Owl,
Flattery was not meant my friend just a true appreciation of you and your wordings. Yours was one of the first blogs that I came across and I’ve certainly been the richer for it. To think that my own efforts have a similar effect upon you and others is truly flattering. Here’s to many more adventures to be told and to inspire, who knows in years to come maybe we’ll get to share one? Take care of you and yours.

Hey Wolfy,
You do know that even the damned Blackberry will succumb to the affects of a well placed hammer? (of course I mean an accidental drop), or even water exposure (honest it just fell from my pocket when hauling that life’s best bass in……). Unfortunately we all seem to have to return to the grind, but getting ‘out there’ does keep us sane (well sort of in Lucy’s case).

To all,
Many thanks once more to you all for taking the time to read and pass your well received comments. I don’t speak lightly when I say how humbled and uplifted I truly am by your more than kind words.
Your friend,
John