Auras of Autumn
5 :15 AM , I rise out of the warm comfort of September’s grasp, dressing in sweats and socks. My retriever Gus moans and half rolls towards the stairs. Later as dawn arises grey and waiting for rain, after two mugs of coffee, a shower, feeding Gus, then the usual chores, I reach for the leash and that’s all it takes. The day has begun. Living across the road from the big river has many advantages , such as the wildlife for one. Geese spread out over the slowly moving river, I watch as the geese take offense to our presence. Now they blaze a pathway of wing-tipped ripples across the cold grey water evading the dangers of these strange creatures, that man and his dog! They have arrived ……….again .
Hands reach and wave above the steering wheels as the neighbors on the morning rounds drive by. From the northwest off the river blows a September wind that reminds me, My God ….. October arrives in a week. I should be more like Gus, I suppose. He cares very little about what month it is or which season, at least I think so. And yet, I watch his nose wiggle, sniffing as we stand staring off into the hardwood ridges beginning the color of fall. Of what is he thinking behind that canine stoicism? Does he reminisce of seasons past like I do? Of trails we have hiked in these majestic mountains that we call home? As he, much like I do, moves nearer the end of this time on earth than the beginning, does he wonder where or how his siblings fare in other parts of the world?
So much to ponder in the slow and amazing days of autumn. We are a team, Gus and I, until the very end. I often wonder, although never too deeply, Why is it that I would rather spend my days comfortably with my dog than with people ? What or wherever the answer to that age old questions lay, it can remain as elusive as it wishes for we are content this day. Some of life’s more difficult questions are perhaps just too difficult to demand immediate answers. As we near the far end of the river walk Gus looks up at me, as he always does right about now, a simple question forming on his face, his whole face, his head in perfect line as we pace away the day, ” Can I have one more swim , just one more before the snow and the freezing air arrive ?”
I look down at Gus and although he has not voiced this wish, I smile in reply, “Well, what do you think Gus?”