Saturday, August 02, 2008

seeing the world

The beagle and I went walking today. It was late in the afternoon, a clear day, with just the slightest chill beginning to touch the air.

Only minutes into the walk, we encountered a white-haired older woman, walking her beagle. The two dogs snarled half-heartedly at each other, then subsided as they realised their owners were stopping to chat. The lady and I discussed beagles and their insatiable greed. The woman suddenly asked, "Is this Millie, from Smith Street?". When I replied in the affirmative, she smiled indulgently. "Oh, Ruby and Millie always growl at each other", she laughed. The two dogs stood staring off in opposite directions, like bored teenagers. The woman and I bade each other farewell. I was amused to realise that we knew our respective dogs' names, but not each others'.

I took a route past my friend Belly's house. I knew she and her family were out, but I walked past anyway. I felt a pang of loneliness. The dog and I passed by.

Up a steep road went Millie and I, to my very favourite street. It is a crescent at the top of a hill, and from there I can look out in all directions. The sun was glowing orange in the distance, turning the sky along the horizon a soft tangerine. I felt that surge of happiness that I always feel at the sight of natural beauty.

Down through suburbia the dog and I plunged. We passed a man and his son, kicking a football to each other across a quiet street. The boy, perhaps five or six, watched Millie and I intently as we strolled past. He piped up, "Dad, I wish I had a soccer dog!".
"One that likes to play soccer", he added, in explanation.
"Me, too", his father replied good-naturedly.
I grinned to myself as I strode along.

Closer to home, Millie and I passed a slim, athletic-looking couple. From a distance, I thought they were in their twenties. As we passed, I realised they were in their fifties. Their faces were a little lined, their hair was greying, but I could tell they had been a handsome couple in their youth. They were still a good-looking couple now. I wondered if they were ever sad; wondered if they ever missed the recognition that used to be given to them because of their younger glory. They nodded hello to me and kept talking amiably to each other. They didn't look sad at all.

Our street was bathed in every shade of yellow as the dog and I reached home.


Kerri said...

It's raining this morning and I missed my walk with Sandy, our young neighbor (she's off to a wedding far away), so it was fun to walk with you and Millie :)
I know what you mean by that feeling when you see natural beauty. Our sunsets have been wonderful pastel tones lately, and recently my breath was taken away by patches of low-lying fog over the green fields and hedgerows in the early evening. So beautiful!
Sending a pat for Millie :)
It's been a very busy summer for me in the gardens, and now my computer is down after electric problems. This is the summer of thunderstorms! Hubby is very generously sharing his computer, but I miss mine :)

Elaine said...

When out,I find that I always speak to the dog before the owner and back in the day when I was a Health Visitor, I tended to speak to the babies and small children first too.

I particularly like meeting familiar breeds (of dogs!) and it is interesting to discover the traits they all have in common.

Remiman said...

A bucolic, lackadaisical stroll enjoying the neighborhood is just exactly what I need today. Thanks for taking us along; it was the perfect prescription Dr.

fifi said...

Thanks for that lovely walk.

Perhaps I ought whack a leash on the cat and try it myself. Pets are such a conversation starter.

freefalling said...

We were doing the same thing yesterday afternoon ('cept I was dragging around three dogs).
You've painted a beautiful picture with your words.
The best I can do is a photo.
(wanna see it? it's here:
Do you reckon your words and my photo express a similar feeling?
If I could turn my photo into words, I reckon it would sound like your "seeing the world".

John Cowart said...

What a soft warm glow to your post.

Reading it, I thought of an old Peanuts cartoon about Snoopy the beagle.

A kid says, "I wonder if Jesus had a dog"?

Snoopy answers, "No. Because if Jesus had a dog, all the disciples would have wanted one too".

meggie said...

What a lovely post Jelly! And yes, it is wonderful how dogs can unite people. And the pains of age, can sometimes be benefits, in the lines of comfort & comapaionship.

(Though some of my recent posts might suggest otherwise!)

shellyC said...

I think I need a dog - one that would take me for a walk to meet new dogs.

I hope you have a lovely week. shelly

Puss-in-Boots said...

What a lovely description of your evening walk, Jelly. I felt as if I was with you.

Good to see you again...:-)

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

You walk sounds like what I feel when I ride my bike. I love looking at the natural beauty of this earth and also what people have put together, in the way of plants, to make their homes look more beautiful.

I'm a nature lover, but my age prohibits me from enjoying it to it's fullest fault of course because I could have stayed in shape.

Thanks for the lovely Sunday morning walk.

Heidi said...

Walks are good for you in so many ways, huh? Look at all that went on and the places your mind went... and animals always add something special in their way.

On a walk... definitely when I long to have a dog. When I view all the toys on our family room floor, not so much in the mood for a dog! ;-)

Have a good week, Jelly!

Stomper Girl said...

Dogs and kids are a great way to give you interaction with the outside world.

Susan said...

You paint a picture with your words, thanks for sharing your stroll around the neighborhood with us!

Have a great day.

TUFFENUF said...

When I read your posts, I just ramble along with you. I feel like I took that walk with you & Millie. If I haven't said it before, Jelly, I love your blog so much, you are a gifted writer!

Mimi said...

I love walking my dog in the neighborhood and I too know some dog's names without knowing their owner's names. I can just see you and Millie trotting happily along.


acountrydoctorwrites said...

Hello, I am a Swedish GP working half of my life in the US. I found you through "a fortunate man". I have 2 elderly beagles (and a shepherd). Walking the beagles (when they're not raiding the village & church parking lot for more or less edible trash) I always get smiles and comments.

Val said...

Hi Jelly, I've been away from blogging for months now, but found I had to comment on this post. I was surprised that not one other comment mentioned the "athletic-looking couple" who turned out to be in their fifties, or about your wondering if they ever missed recognition of their past glory. No, they are probably too busy revelling in their present glory as fit, well adjusted people who accept what they are and where they are at in this stage of their life. Another good sign: letting their hair go grey. Yay!

Greetings to you, dear Jelly, as I make my way around loved blogs.

Alipurr said...

wow, this is a really cool post, i like to hear about regular everyday things when you write about them :)

your descriptions of people & dogs are great