Fall progresses. The colors are fading quickly. I am capturing every frame I can. I should have material to keep me busy for a few weeks. But I feel the change coming as the landscape dons its winter colors.
A couple of years ago I read The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. There were many scenes in the book that captured my attention. One of them came to mind yesterday afternoon.
The Girl and I left the house around 1600h for an evening outing. Now that we are back on standard time, the light begins to fall about 1700h. Therefore, I will adjust our evening schedule so we are not walking in the dark (at least, not often).
I had a late lunch/early supper and she was fed, so there was no rush for supper. We took our time walking around the park, playing, loving, enjoying the cool evening air, and watching the light fade as the sun worked off to the west.
She did the squirrely pit bull thing, wriggling around on her back in the grass, snorting and coughing. I knelt beside her and played a little, then started a tummy rub. I have a smiling dog when she is pleased and I saw the corners of her mouth turn up into that little smile when she is happy and content. We played our little games as we made our way back to the rig.
I offered the ball, but she was not very interested. Well, sometimes she is interested and other times not. So we packed it in and headed away from the park. I decided I wanted a treat, so we drove down the Baskin-Robbins.
I no longer keep ice cream in the house. I like it too much and do not need to eat it every day. So, if I want ice cream, we drive over to the shop and pick it up.
Yes, I said we… wait for it.
I parked the rig and walked into the store. “Do you have black walnut ice cream,” I asked.
The first young woman said “Ummm…” The other, working the register and the drive-up window answered “Yes!”
“I’d like a scoop of Rocky Road and a scoop of Black Walnut in a cup, please.” The first young woman busied herself with my order while I paid the other working the register.
The first returned with my order and handed to me. “Could I have a second spoon, please?” I got a flash of a puzzled look, me being by myself, but she complied.
I walked out to the rig, sampling the Rocky Road as I walked. The Girl was waiting in the back of the rig, watching for me. As I opened the door, she stretched way out “sniff, sniff, sni-sni-sniff” as her nose worked, wondering what wonderful delight I might have returned with.
“Are you going to eat that?” she asked.
We sat there in the lot, me nibbling at the Rocky Road and watching the light change as the sun traveled further west. In between bites, I paused, loaded the second spoon with a little Black Walnut, and offered it to the Girl.
The first bite was funny. She s-n-i-f-f-e-d tentatively, then tried a light lick. Then it was GAME ON and she worked the spoon clean. I placed her spoon on the console and took a bite of Rocky Road for myself.
I took my time, enjoying each bite. I remembered the scene from Peaceful Warrior in which Socrates savors each bite of his food while Asshole just shovels his food in, never noticing anything about it. After each of my bites, I loaded The Girl’s spoon with some Black Walnut and held the spoon for her while she enjoyed her share. Then I would get one for myself while she watched me carefully.
“You are going to share that with me, aren’t you.” It was not a question, but a statement. It is one I hear often. Heh…
We continued working through the treat with me sharing the Black Walnut after the Rocky Road was depleted. It seemed the scoops were much smaller than I recall. I suppose that is just progress.
I was also reminded of a favorite musician, Warren Zevon, gone now for too many years. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, he admonished those around him to “Enjoy every sandwich.” It is the same lesson Socrates was teaching Asshole in Peaceful Warrior. Life is short. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. There is wisdom in practicing gratitude, in reflecting on the moment, and on savoring each and every bite. Each is a gift from God.
Last night I was paying attention. The Girl cleaned up the cup after we finished. Then we drove back home. I gave her the last bit of her rawhide chew as I began to settle down for the night.
I am grateful.