When Dash first arrived in my life, we walked for miles. And, then we began hiking. Lilly arrived and the hiking continued as soon as she was old enough. Then these last two years, not so much. Things have gotten in the way of hiking and we just haven’t gotten out there.
Until this Saturday… the first day of Summer 2014.
I had forgotten how spiritual and energizing hiking is for me. I had forgotten that I truly erase my mind and focus on the hike. I look at the trees, I listen to the wind, I feel my own breath going in and out. I don’t think about the challenges of daily life. I don’t think about the trivialities that are haunting me.
I had forgotten all of that.
And, the doodles, well, the doodles are still the best company during a hike. Lilly leads the way and her tail never stops wagging. Dash’s excitement began when we pulled in at the trailhead, he was barking and whimpering as loud as possible. I swear he was telling me that I was taking way too long to put on my boots. However, as we began to hike I noticed that my sweet little Dash was slow. He walked behind me while I walked behind Lilly. I kept Lilly on her leash because she is so curious and quick when something gets her attention that I don’t want her running off the trail. Her recall is only so-so. My sweet Dash, though, was off leash most of the time. And he walked at his own pace. He would stop to sniff, to look and then he would walk again. Stroll really. I wondered as I would sneak a look behind me to watch him if the slowing down was a sign of his age. I admit I found myself feeling a little melancholy and nostalgic for his puppy days. We were hiking Bergen Peak Trail in Evergreen, the same trail where Dash and I went for our first hike together when he was just one year old. At that time, he was probably a bit too young. But he couldn’t have been happier. Although I do remember that after a few hours of hiking, he would stop and sit down! I so remember the image of that little body just stopping and plopping down.
So six years later here we were on the same trail, and he wasn’t stopping as much as he was just taking his time during his hike. Maybe that’s not age slowing him. Maybe it’s wisdom telling him to take his time and enjoy the smells and the sights. I like that thought.
As the three of us huffed and puffed and climbed our way up, we made a pact that we would hike more this summer. And, I made a pact to write more. So, here is the new and improved Doodle Musings blog… complete with a goal: this is the summer of hiking and writing.
Join us! There will be pictures, reflections, trail recommendations and maybe a good story now and then. The last time I wrote a blog, I kept it private (not really the definition of a blog). This time, I am sharing the address. If you have time to read, and maybe you smile or nod your head in agreement with a comment I make or a conclusion I draw, please know that I am grateful.
Until next time!