The Road To My Heart Is Paved With Paw Prints

The Vacuum Cleaner as a Spiritual Tool
June 30, 2015
I stood in the forest today.
November 1, 2018

The Road To My Heart Is Paved With Paw Prints

We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more

temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily

and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we

still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the

only certain immortality, never fully understanding the

necessary plan.

At the ocean near Olympia, Washington in 2016. I can still hear his feet pounding the surf and sand as he raced at top speed along the beach. People stopped to watch him, this Joy Boy, who found the primal sea of such great interest to his senses. He chased the sea birds, dove into the surf, and used every sense he had to take it all in. After all, his youth was spent in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. This, this pulsing, pounding body of water-this was something entirely different.

Snow! Another form of water that this water dog loved. He would jump in it, taste it, thrust his nose into it and throw it up on his head. On our land in Wyoming, he had a “grassy knoll” out front that was snow covered in the winter. He would lay out there till dark, watching all the animals from his mighty perch. The first time we got him snow boots, he couldn’t quite figure them out until we went hiking in the deep canyon snow. “Ahhh…”he said, “Now I can run fast and my feet don’t get cold and icy!”

 

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take stock of your memories,

And slowly remember, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

 

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And adored your beauty with love deep and true,

But one woman loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

 

And she, bending down beside the glowing embers,

Murmurs, with great sadness, how Love fled her,

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid your face amid a crowd of stars.

 

The heavens are brighter now and when she looks upon the Star Nations,

She sees the pattern of your bright soul, reflected back to her.

 

My Spirit Place calls me

To replenish and renew

Showing me its secret places

That elk have only seen.

To walk the timbered trails the other wild creatures know,

As I become a spirit and feel with the Earth,

My mother, who shelters me and shares with me her vitality.

She teaches me the rocks’ song and the fertile soil dance

While I open my soul so wide,

I feel the heartbeat of the world,

And catch her precious tears

In hand that trembles

With her gifts, so heavy

They lighten me.

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