Friday, April 9, 2010

A Walk in the Park

It was so lovely out today that I simply had to take Jasper to the park. He wriggled with delight the entire way there, eager to indulge in some of his favorite activities: sniffing unfamiliar grass, chasing his frisbee, pushing around his big ball, and collecting sticks. We spent a little while playing with the frisbee and the ball in one of the sports fields, then put the toys back in the car and headed off on a long, enjoyable walk. Our walk, of course, was punctuated with a few rounds of fetch played with a very nice stick that Jasper brought me. Then he happily carried his stick for a while, while I enjoyed the scenery. We walked at least two, maybe three miles along the paths. Then I noticed that it was growing overcast.

"Tut tut, it looks like rain," I remarked to Jasper. Jasper wanted to see what was around the bend in the path, so I indulged him. A few minutes later, I felt a few rain droplets on my arm. Jasper and I turned and headed back to the car, enjoying the few little drops that fell on us . . .

Then the torrential downpour began. As animals around Lynchburg undoubtedly began to assemble in two (except for the clean animals, which assembled in sevens), Jasper and I fought to make our way back to the car. We had taken a rather twisty route, so I was not entirely sure which paths were the right ones to take. Finally, I saw the correct parking lot across a field. Since I was already soaked all the way through, I figured grass couldn't make it any worse.

"Charge!" I called out to Jasper, as we darted across the field, somewhat slowed by the massive water coming from the sky, which kept blurring my contacts. All the way home, poor Jasper and I shivered.

When we arrived home, Jasper knew that a bath was in store, and he was having none of it. My normally obedient dog led me on a merry chase throughout the apartment, with me diving periodically onto the floor in an attempt to grab him. I'm sure he thought this was the best game ever. Finally, frustrated and irritable at the delay in getting clean and dry, I managed to grab him by the leg and haul him into the bathroom. An hour later, both the dog and I were squeaky clean, dry, and enjoying a well-earned dinner.

Next time we go to the park, we'll check the weather report first.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"