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Big Adventures

Whew! Miles and I had two completely different adventures this morning in the woods. I had worn my new boots, since my old, worn out pair are no longer waterproof and I was intending to cross the creek. I love the back part of the park (“The Back Forty”) very much but because of all the rain I hadn’t been able to get over there yet. There is a slope back there that I call Bluebell Hill and I was thinking it’s probably about time for the bluebells to be popping up.

When I got to the creek, Miles was gone, off again on another of his secret adventures. But this time I felt sure I knew where he’d gone–to find and gnaw on a deer leg he’d found back the other direction. And I thought I could go and see the flowers and then find him over there. I thought we could both do what we wanted this time and then I’d find him.

In my adventure I was richly rewarded. Wow. Bluebells were out in full force, pushing through the fallen leaves, along with Dutchmen’s breeches, trillium and false rue anemone–a magic carpet of wildflowers. Walking through there, even quickly since I was thinking about Miles, my heart ached with how pretty it is. I took many pictures, none of which match the wonder and magic of the place, the flowers, the perch above the creek that I so love, the meandering path. No. Not even close. You can’t hear the birds when you look at the pictures, for example. You can’t tell that everywhere you look there’s something tiny and beautiful to see. You don’t feel the cool morning air on your face or smell the fragrance of damp earth and rich, ripe spring.

Waldeinsamkeit is a German word that refers to the feeling one has while being alone in the woods, usually a sublime or spiritual one.”

Sublime, indeed.

Meanwhile, Miles was having a different sort of adventure. I headed towards where I imagined he had gone but did not find him there and pretty soon my phone rang. He had found a woman, showed her his tag, and asked her to call me. (I’m sure this is how it went, as he is very smart and he knows all about cell phones.) She was at the complete other end of the park and she’d put him on a leash (not at all a part of his plan). I asked her to hold him until I was across the creek, where I could call to him and he’d hear me, so that’s how it went. He loves to go off on his own but he really really wants to come back and tell me all about it. Pretty soon he came racing up. All out of breath, worn out, wet, desperate to find me, legs trembling, the look of worry in his eyes. Bad mother. And the smell of death on his breath. Bad dog.

I gave him about two million treats and tried to get him to lie down and rest for awhile, but that only lasted about one minute. And we headed back, each of us rewarded once again by nature’s bounty.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. And if you enjoy these letters, feel free to invite them to sign up for them. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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