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"Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Chief Seattle (1786–1866) leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes


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Days Made Good

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The days are all of a tizzy weather-wise, my daily walks ignoring the vagaries of an ever changing sky, instead taking in the splendour of a countryside heavy with every shade of green imaginable. 

Overcast, sultry, sulky days slow Gunners pace to a plod, his enthusiasm waning with every step until we enter a canopy of woodland edged by stream and lake. Rabbit and squirrel dart through the leaf litter, heading in vertically opposite directions with Gunner in hot pursuit until left staring down the naked entrance of a burrow, or barking furiously up at a tree, the sound of leaves disturbed above egging him on, his frustration growing. I call him away, his tail and ears up, alert now, concentrating, sniffing upwind for another chase.

The tinkling flow of the shallow stream tempts, distracts and cools as he stands paw deep in the gravel, the cold water babbling about his legs causing him to almost sigh with the pleasure of it. Then he's gone, chasing an imaginary fish upstream, water thrown in every direction as he plays.

Catching up with him he leaps clear of the stream to shower me with grateful affection and a refreshing, spattering soaking, then he's off again. The scent of water in his nostrils, I let him run to the lake where he can immerse himself and swim out for the sticks I'd been collecting. As usual he was sat, head to one side, ears cocked, waiting for three little words that would give him the all clear to run headlong into the embrace of his favourite pastime. His enthusiasm is contagious as I heft the thick boughs out as far as I can. His speed through the water, fluid, powerful. His breathing, at first ragged, spluttering, snorting with excitement, steadying, controlled as he quickly finds his rythym.

Wandering the lakeside, Gunner shedding droplets of water as we go, and occasionally shaking more free, we head up into the fields. A crop of  barley rises towards the near horizon, a golden lake, aglow in the occasional sunlight. Mischievous calves, loose from an adjacent grass field, stand out amongst it, leaving newly trodden trails and, no doubt later, a less than amused cattleman.

A smaller, distant lake shimmers in the occasional sunlight raking it's surface. Green-camouflaged dome-like shelters dot the banks giving the presence of anglers away. All but the kitchen sink barrowed in for awkward convenience and comfort, though quite what watching television has to do with getting-away-from-it-all is beyond me, still.........

A light drizzle begins to fall, sparkling in the low sunlight radiating fan-like from the far horizon. I ignore the rain, instead preferring to watch lengthening and distorted shadows creep from their hiding places, preparing to join the coming darkness. Rural footpaths cut across the landscape, leading to unseen settlements, criss-crossing waterways as they meander, leading me the few miles distant back home.

With the boating season in full swing and school holidays begun, the sounds of laughter and excitement from a passing boat cuts through the quiet until a judicious fist-full of throttle fades the sound of engine and reverie to silence. Walking the towpath, I hear a passing hire-boat crewman shout to the skipper that his bedroom floor is under water........oh joy. I thought to offer some advice, but not wanting to run and keep abreast of them at the speed they were going, I held my counsel. They'd reach the next marina before it sank anyhow.

As quiet descended once again, the sound of a mooring pin being hammered into the towpath ahead meant neighbours. Rounding a sweeping bend, sure enough, a narrowboat was almost perched on wilvir's stern. What is it with some boaters and this closeness thing? Then I noticed their stern rope through the ring of my mooring chain...............well I never, real neighbourly, maybe they only have one mooring pin!
28th Jul 2015, 12:22  

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LynnDouglas says:

Beautifully written as always....
Much enjoyed.

29th Jul 2015, 11:02

wilvir says:

Praise indeed, thanks Lynn.

31st Jul 2015, 11:44