Monday, June 23, 2014

Today, We Walk


I was feeling worn down by the day-to-day, and I needed to get out of my head.
One hopeful stare from Charlie, and I read his mind.
Or, maybe it was he who read mine.

We were both longing for an adventure.  

  "Let's go," I said, as I grabbed his leash, and the two of us hopped in the car.

Sunroof, open.
Windows, down.
Charlie, with his face to the wind.

As we turned down the familiar drive, Charlie could barely contain himself.

  "Easy, Charlie," I said, as I pulled the car into park, and hooked his leash to his collar.

Together, we stepped out into the day, and I was immediately consumed.

The blue of the sky,
   the green of the trees,
the stark white of the clouds -

FILLING ME WITH VIBRANCE.  

Charlie was eager to experience all that awaited him.
As we stepped out onto the dirt-covered path, he pulled against his leash.
He was expecting to walk at our normal, fast pace.

But, today, I was not in a hurry. 

Charlie looked back at me with anticipation.

   "Come on!" he seemed to say.  "What are you waiting for?"

Today, Charlie, we are taking it slow.  

After a few gentle tugs on the leash, he seemed to understand.

Today, we walk.
Not for exercise, or to work up a sweat.
Not to see how fast we can make it around the lake.
Today we walk to relax, to be in the moment, to clear our minds.

Disappointed, at first, Charlie settled into the slower pace.
Now, we were in sync.
And, my mind was in a quiet enough place to notice.

I noticed the gravel, loose and shifting beneath my feet.
I noticed the sun, warm and soothing against my face.
I noticed the clouds, softly floating across the sky.
I noticed the lake - glistening reflections, about.      
And, the fragrance of the flowers, softly carried on a breeze.

I noticed all of these things.  

And, OH, THE CHILD-LIKE JOY!
   of walking up and over each small trestle.
That marvelous archway raised above the trickling and tranquil sounds of the creek.
With each strong step, the familiar awareness of the worn, wooden planks, underneath.

Yes.

Today, Charlie, on this GLORIOUS DAY, we walk.
We walk to appreciate.
We walk to renew.
So that when we return to the day-to-day, the weight of our troubles is not so much.
Today, we just . . . walk.  







Monday, June 2, 2014

Don't Leave Your Knives on the Stove


It was a normal morning.

I came downstairs, let Charlie outside, and filled his bowls with fresh water and food.
I filled my Moka pot with fresh water, as well, and freshly ground coffee, placed it on the stove, and turned on the burner.

It was a normal morning, except . . .

Normally, as I would wait for my little espresso maker to perform its magic,
   I would sit at the kitchen counter and check my e-mails on my laptop.
This particular day, however,
I went into the next room to use my desktop computer.

A good amount of time had gone by.

I am not sure how long.
And, I heard a strange noise.
I walked into the kitchen,
   turned the corner,
and to my surprise . . .

THE ENTIRE TOP OF THE STOVE WAS IN FLAMES.

I was extremely calm, considering.

I stood and assessed the situation.
The flames were well contained on top of the stove.
I cleared the area around it, and turned off the electric burner.
As the burner began to cool down, the flames began to dissipate,
   only burning on top of the burner that had been turned on . . .

   the burner that was SUPPOSED to be the burner where my coffee pot stood . . .

   the burner where, INSTEAD, all of my good knives had been laying out to dry,
      from when I washed them, the night before.

I have never watched knives burn, before.

It does not smell good.

It does not look good.

And, it creates a thick, gray smoke that makes your eyes burn.

I sprinkled a little water on the flame, to see how it would react.
Then, I sprinkled a little more.
Until, finally, I poured water from a glass, until the flame was gone,
   leaving only the remnants of knives,
their rubber handles melted into the glass-topped stove.

Then, began the mad rush . . .
opening every window and door;
grabbing chairs from random rooms to reach the smoke detectors
that were blaring out my stupidity to the world.

I have never liked the smell of air freshener.

But, if anytime there was a need for one, it was now.
I remembered my daughter, and her love for Febreze.
She used to spray it around the house, to everyone's displeasure.
I grabbed the blue bottle from the closet, and began spraying it around the house,
   running away from the fragrance, as I sprayed.  
All the while, I held my breath, until I felt I had thoroughly deodorized the entire house,
whence upon I made a mad rush to the fresh air, outdoors.

EXHALE.

Sirens in the distance.

SHIT.

INHALE.

Closer, CLOSER, CLOSER, FARTHER, FARTHER, Farther . . . gone.

EXHALE.

It was a normal morning.

I grabbed Charlie, jumped in the car, and drove to Starbucks.

Don't leave your knives on the stove.