It Wasn’t the Same at All
Sunny and I went over to the Dragoon Mountains the other day. I knew it wouldn’t be the same without the Artist, but Sunny had never been there (true of so many places for one as young as she), and I wanted a different destination for our day, so I drove west on Ironwood Road from 191, Sunny’s mind a pretty blank slate, I'm guessing, while her dog mom’s was a crowded album of memories.
The first time our old pack, David and Sarah and I, explored up that road was in 2019, and I remember the mountains coming gradually nearer and nearer as the road left civilization behind, my excitement growing so that, by the time we reached Mile 1, I had to jump out of the car to photograph the sign. Somehow this time it looked quite ordinary. Because it wasn’t my first time? Well, yes, I've seen it many times since 2019. As we went on, however, it wasn't only the fact that I’d traveled this road before or my acute awareness of the Artist’s absence that made this trip with Sunny feel so different.
Cochise County was very snowy in the winter of 2018-19. This past winter, by contrast, was warm and dry, so that places where before we forded running water in the past had nary a trickle this year. And that’s not all. Last year the Forest Service apparently decided that having roads underwater was – not a good idea? hazardous? Whatever their reasons, the most exciting crossings of our 2019 adventure are now not only dry, at present, but when water does flow there again, it will flow in culverts underneath cement. Not the same at all! I’m glad the Artist and I made our safari when we did. Look at the difference between the way it used to be and the way it is now. Not the same at all, is it?
It was still a lovely day, though, with bull thistles and prickly poppies in bloom, and Sunny found everything she saw and heard and smelled new and interesting. It's all new to her.
Not Only About Horses
I've read other books by Mark Rashid and written about them in this blog, so you won't be surprised when I say I was thrilled to find one I hadn't seen before over in Benson the day my friend Juleen and I met for a few hours together. Horsemanship Through Life called out to me from the shelf -- and it did not disappoint. Many years ago when I took a dressage class one winter in Kalamazoo, it was in part to be around horses and in part to cultivate in myself traits necessary for being around horses but also good in other areas of life: I wanted to become more calm, confident, and consistent overall. The lessons Rashid learned in his study of the practice of aikido and transferred to working with horses are similarly transferrable to other general life experiences, and a disarming feature of the personal stories he tells is that he doesn't gloss over his own failures and shortcomings. Rather, he presents the times he has gotten "stuck" as, eventually, occasions for learning new lessons he realized he needed to learn.
Is it too much to hope that I can use the wisdom from this book on horsemanship and life to my very, very challenging puppy project? I certainly hope so, because I need all the help I can get on the road from puppyhood to good dog with Sunny Juliet!
Other Books Read Since Last List Appeared
43. Crais, Robert. Suspect (fiction)
44. Smith, Alexander McCall. The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe (fiction)
45. Crais, Robert. The Promise (fiction)
46. Tyler, Anne. A Spool of Blue Thread (fiction)
47. Rooney, Kathleen. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (fiction)
48. ??? [I know there was one in here but forget what it was.]
49. Field, Rachel. Hepatica Hawks (fiction)
50. Levine, Stephen. Meetings at the Edge: Dialogues with the Grieving and the Dying, the Healing and the Healed (nonfiction)
51. Juanita, Judy. The High Price of Freeways: Stories (fiction)
52. Weiner, Ellis & Barbara Davilman. How to Raise a Jewish Dog (fiction? nonfiction? You tell me!)
53. Watson, Richard. The Philosopher’s Demise: Learning to Speak French (nonfiction)
54. Rashid, Mark. Horsemanship Through Life (nonfiction)
Please note that I actually read two humorous books #52 & #53) and, yes, laughed out loud over both!
And now, in closing, a heartbreaker -- if, that is, you see what I saw.