Saturday, April 18, 2009

Of country lanes, wild geese and long walks...

That time of year has come again. After a long winter of navigating my van down the obstacle course/snow drifted, mud pit that was my lane, it has now dried up from it's Spring time sludge persona and is again welcoming me for long, lingering twilight walks. I love it!

In the Spring, Summer and Autumn, I take a walk down the lane at least once a day, usually early evening. I am always accompanied by Mini, the dog, and Frodo, my cat. Mini views these forays down the lane as the ultimate highlight of her day, if not her LIFE! She becomes unspeakably exuberant at the very mention of the word, walk. She is also catching on to "stroll", "trip", "promenade", "saunter" and "marche". Mini doesn't actually walk down the lane. She throws herself down the lane in a series of sprints, leaps and bounds, slowing to a mere trot if she gets too far ahead.

Frodo, on the other hand, walks leisurely beside me, with only the odd burst of energy, usually inspired by noises coming from the ditches that only he can hear. Frodo has been coming on the walks since he first came to us at six weeks old, last summer. Even at six weeks, he insisted on following and would not allow himself to be carried. Now that he is a big, strong young tom, he only allows himself to be carried if the lane is exceptionally muddy and even then, only long enough to wipe his muddy paws on my jacket.

I know that I talk a lot about walks down the lane, but that is because it is such a magical time. Last night, when we were about half way down the lane, hundreds of wild geese rose up with a deafening roar from the field in front of our place and moved to another field nearby. For a moment I thought that they were going to fly over our heads, which would have been a wonderful experience as they were flying low, but they moved off to my left. Frodo, Mini and I stood on the lane, looking up, watching these amazing birds. At this time of the year, the laneway seems so alive. Aside from the animals I bring with me, the ditches, bushes and trees that line the lane are vibrant with birds and other creatures that only my pets can hear and smell. I do a lot of thinking on the lane, a lot of day dreaming, praying, hoping.

Walking the lane is one of my favorite experiences, and it makes me happy to see that Grace also enjoys the solitude and refuge of the lane. 'Tis the season!

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