At the word UP Wolfie now jumps on top of rocks, benches, picnic tables and chairs. At some point, I want to train him to jump into my arms… while I’m running…with someone on my shoulders…downhill…while wearing little sirens. Sometimes he makes me into a ten year old.
Every day we walk miles. This morning in the fog it was so still that the park flag hung limp; even the silence felt thickened and moist. In the meadows pink, lavender and purple aster are blooming. The goldenrod is just past its peak. For three days in a row in three locations we have kicked up five and six flickers at a go; they must be coming through on their migration. I’m seeing more blue jays this year than I have for a while. Goldfinches are coursing the dry flowers. In the high canopy we heard a call and answer of two birds — a loud, single note traded back and forth, very bright and fulsome. Both of us raised our heads to listen; I could not see them. I wish I knew more songs.
There is water everywhere. Half the time we walked on what felt like a sponge; water oozes out of the soil, hidden trenches are filled to the brim, grassy places have become merely a thin, permeable lid for the great sea of groundwater beneath, and the stream is running high and fast. After two monsoon months in Pennsylvania I’m dreaming of what I imagine New Mexico to be up high — dry, the risen Lord of the Sun mounting in a sky so blue it feels like a new life just to walk under it. When the sun finally breaks through and shows a glimpse of leg, it feels as if the occasion calls for a celebration.
We walk on, and Wolfie, off leash, zip-lines back and forth in front of me following scents; he pisses insouciantly, happily eats mud, listens to me throw a conniption when he eats mud, runs to me, sits and looks up at me. What is a person to do with those eyes.