Last week was hard, you guys. There was no major crisis or disaster — but a steady stream of what was difficult and tiring and unresolved. When I got home from work on Friday, I popped the car into the garage, lay down on the kitchen rug, and just let Lilo lick my eyeballs for a couple of minutes there.
And then we went for a walk.
A thing that I’ve never had as an adult — a thing that I was very specifically and deliberately looking for as part of this last move — was what felt like a permanent home. The reasons are varied and not all that important, but it was important to me this time around to settle someplace that could be home for at least the next couple of years.
And: success. Beyond my dearest hopes. I adore my little old house and my just-the-right length commute along the river, through trees upon trees, with mountains on the horizon; it makes me happy every day. I love my struggling hopeful tiny city. And I am so grateful to have these trails walkable straight out of my door that are intimately part of the local landscape — for better and for worse — and that take me to places like this one, at moments like that one, and offer up some much-needed space and rest.
And of course I also love having Lilo along on these walks. Part of me is so looking forward to the end of winter in the Whites so that we can get a little more solo hiking in. We’ve got wonderful trail buddies who I am so glad to know and to hike along with and who add so very much to our lives — but there’s also something really special about ambling down a (more or less) wild trail with somebody who just gets it, without having to talk. I’m too cautious and too aware of my relatively inexperience to do much serious winter hiking solo. My preferred solo-with-dog to lots-of-company ratio, though, is about 1:1, especially on those days at the end of those weeks when I’m just ready for a break from anybody who has thumbs.
Dogs (and nature) are the best. That is all!