The first response of most people when confronted with the kind of rain that bounces off the pavement, would sensibly decide to stay indoors, maybe with a nice cup of tea.
Is strait out with the dog.
As we ventured out into the downpour, I started to question my sanity.
However, once the tree line we had been walking along ended, revealing a single sphere of the setting sun piercing through the clouds and reflecting off the surface of the pond we were now walking parallel to, I decided it really didn’t matter.
I could have stayed there for hours.
Beautiful is a word I very rarely use, however, it is for moments like this I reserve it, and even then, I don’t think it’s enough.
The rain hammered down harder.
Neither of us seemed to mind.
Standing there, just me and the dog, and the sound of the rain, and the rushing water from the beck nearby, and the calls from the ducks in the rushes, with the solitary heron, the cold feeling of water running down my back, dripping from my eyelashes. With the sent of earth and foliage and water, with the setting sun and the dark clouds, I was struck with a feeling of wonder I don’t often experience.
I am not a religious person.
I do not do gods or spirituality.
But it is in these moments that I find peace.
Its interesting how memories can be triggered from seemingly unrelated sources.
Case in point, it was in coming across this post
and the subsequent reflections on my own experiences with, and attitudes towards failure that caused the memory of this particular event to surface.
There were two young Blackbirds who’d found their way out of the nest before they were quite ready..
I removed the first quite literally from the jaws of one of my dogs, it was unharmed. After some poking around the nest was located to which the first was returned.
And now the predatory instincts of my dog were awake and ready.
It was his behaviour that gave away the second, it was in the focus and intensity of his movements that let me know there was another.
He flushed it from some bushes, it escaped under a hedge, I moved infront of him, dropping down to peer under the hedge, to see if I could make a grab for it.
In the spirit of cooperative hunting, my dog located another gap in the shrubs and stalked into position, almost parallel to me, angled slightly towards my location, crouched low, presumably waiting for me to drive the bird into his path.
Of course, that was not my intention.
But in the end it was the bird who sealed its own fate.
A single squeal
And then silence
In trying to avoid me, it placed itself in the path of the dog.
I’d wanted to save it, to give it a chance of living, or to die naturally. In the context, I didn’t feel death by domestic pet, could be considered natural. A belief I extend to peoples pet cats.
You would think I would be sad, possibly even a little angry.
It was instant acceptance.
I did not succeed.
Very well then.
Let it go.
You could almost say there was a dismissive quality to it, perhaps born from a life where accepting and learning from failure was a skill acquired early.
About a week or so later, the surviving one successfully flew the nest.
For those who require a happy ending, there you go.
I’ve always had a fascination with animals, dogs have always had a particularly strong hold over me, I can do and feel with them, things I will not or cannot for members of my own species.
However, today it seems to have finally dawned on me that my at times unpredictable moods are working their way into my relationship with them.
That is unacceptable.
I do not like it.
They deserve better.
For them I can cry, love and just feel.
I refuse to lose that part of me to.