Jump in the puddles….

Laying in bed, surrounded by a plethora of soft cotton pillows, covered with an eiderdown quilt, that felt like warm scented air, my shoulder began to ache .

I had not overworked it, or tweaked it the day before. There was no recent injury to the area. It was remembering, and it was mourning.

The sound of the rushing river came slipping in through my window on the wings of the cool mountain breeze.

No need for a sound machine here to rest and sleep. Rhythmic ebb and flow naturally, and without restraint tumbled over the rocks smoothing them with its constancy, and it’s essence lulled me into slumber land .

The distant chirping of a lone bird could be heard ever so lightly across the air waves.

The shoulder ache began deep in the night. Finally at first light, I searched through my crowded make up bag in my tan and weathered, leather purse for some alieve or advil . I applied some roll on “icy hot” to the area hoping the topical aid would give some relief.

Six years ago, this same shoulder began to give me grief. It longed for the ability to hold my daughter again. It was lonely, it was lost. It had nothing left to carry but the pain of what was before . It ached for the weight of her . It has been a good right arm. It is my dominant hand and arm, and it has been loyal. It is possibly overused, and overworked.

Our bodies mourn for our people that we no longer can hold with our physical self, and it occurs to me that surrounding the day that we say ” see you later,” years later our bodies still grieve. This is an intriguing phenomenon, and it’s uncomfortably comforting. That last sentence is a mouthful .

Jump in the puddles. That’s what this young girl did, as I approached her . She didn’t accidentally slip or slide in, she leapt up, and with intention landed her two footed rubber boots in unison, and again and again made big splashes.

It was a joy to behold, as she repeatedly brought her knees up and continued her puddle dance.

I smiled, and broke out in laughter at the sight. Her parents and her sister paid her antics little attention, and as I passed by, I said,

” good for you, that looked like fun.”

She glanced sheepishly my way, and gave me a toothy grin that was missing a few.

Her Mother, under her breath retorted,

” now her pants are all wet.”

Her Mother missed the point. The pants will dry, and can be washed again, but that pure moment of finding a puddle and deciding to frolic away for the pure innocence of enjoyment and splashing lifted this girls’ and my spirits too .

She was a courageous one. She leapt without looking, or thought of consequence, she made waves just because .

It was a heavenly dance.

Exuberant displays of joy are required. It felt this way when I was dog sitting this summer. One dog in particular was such a happy guy. I woke up in the night to find two furry posts standing atop my chest. As I attempted to right myself, I realized these posts were attached to ” Boone,” my friend Laura’s dog, and these posts were his legs. I guess he thought I should wake up and play with him at 3:00 in the am.

I believe he is a mix between a golden retriever and a doodle ? Not sure, but he is big and adorable. I could barely see him, but I could tell there was a playful glimmer in his eye, which made me giggle .

As I laughed, I tried to adopt a stern voice and instructed him to

“Lay down.”

He did… on top of me.. on his back, and he pointed his face upside down towards my face. All four paws were in the air. his tongue rolled out. It was too much. It was excellent. He was my furry and lively weighted blanket. I’m not sure what he weighs, but he was heavy.

It occurred to me reflecting back that his zest for life, reminded me of the young girl jumping in the puddles. No instruction is required, just the ability to be in the moment, and enjoy the time and space, and not care about what comes next .

Instructions could be warranted, but are not required.

Spontaneous jumping in puddles could have the same reward as the breaking of dishes. It decompresses the body , and joy spills out.

I met a man with special needs on my walk the other day. It was a cool morning, and the changing colors on the trees were triumphant and brilliant .

He rides on a three wheeled bike, and always stops to say hello. He might be a bit younger than I, I am not sure. He always has such a look of happiness on his face. His name is Doug Lee.

He is a lovely person who I have met several times on the trail .

The other day he was walking alongside his bike, and I asked him if he needed any assistance. I could see that his front wheel was completely flat, and off the metal rim.

He said he would just walk his tricycle home, and I asked how far his home was?

” about a mile.”

” Do you want me to go and get my car, and drive you to your house?”

” no, I am ok. I will get somebody to fix it when I get back there.”

We parted ways, and I wondered if I should have insisted, but then thought about him, and his zest for life. His resilience, and ability to just accept situations as they came his way were inspiring. He didn’t seem upset, or vexed about his deflated tire, he just took it in stride, and enjoyed his walk instead.

The next day I came across him again, and as he rode towards me, I commented on how happy I was to see him, and that I was thrilled that his tire was fixed up so that he could continue his ride. He nodded his head in excited agreement .

The Trail is full of color

The crunch of leaves underfoot, and the essence of drying foliage, and wet earth is pleasant. It begs for the lungs to take deep breaths. And with each one, memories of walks with Mum, and her little dog, Brodie, and of times pushing Bianca’s wheelchair through fall leaves.

It is Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend, and I’m giving much thanks for the wonderful loved ones who have departed and are in heaven together, and for the ones I still share this planet with . I’m thankful for you .

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