On Thursdays, I usually take my dog, Dixie Lee, to one or the other of two parks in different parts of town. Yesterday was a balmy, overcast day here in east Tennessee. We drove across town, parked the truck, and leisurely strolled all the walkways of the park. I visited the little pine tree whose growth I monitor and cheer on (I’d placed pretty rocks around it to protect it when it was a small seedling). We acknowledged a blackened bull thistle that we’d photographed in late summer when it was in bloom. We retrieved an over-the-fence tennis ball for two cheerful men who were on the tennis court. After a while, we got to ‘the place’. ‘The place’ is the park bench swing, upon which I’d first sat six years ago and had a memorable conversation (while two groups of men, costumed in old-fashioned garb and armor, ran across the grass in a mock battle – I don’t know the name of this sport, but it has a name). Yesterday, the place was quiet, as it usually is, and very welcoming. I sat on the swing and Dixie walked around investigating this and that. I became so aware of the combination of immediate stillness and distant sounds and sights. It was mystical and musical.
Overhead, a single hawk circled and circled. Far off I could see yellow buses parked and waiting for kids to come out of the barely visible YMCA building. The swing was so relaxing; towering over it was a young oak tree, still holding onto its brown leaves, as oaks do. Also there were junipers. The wind swirled and occasionally whistled. It felt good and refreshing, as it was a warm wind. I could hear little broken parts of the voices of the two men on the distant tennis court ... the wind was carrying the sound in my direction. Dixie’s hair and ears rippled as she stood, face into the current, as if she fancied she was poised, in the wild. We were mesmerized, transfixed.
So we were startled but didn’t really mind when a couple of little raindrops that I chose to ignore suddenly were punctuated by sheets of rain being thrown about by howling wind. We ran and ran, as the elements escalated. It was an exciting jog back to the truck and we were both soaked ... but happy!