Homebodies - Old dogs and children


By: Rita Friesen


I paused to speak with a couple of gardeners who were admiring the plantations in the yard of their home. A late afternoon shower had dampened the topsoil, but there had not been enough rain to wet the earth beneath the trees.

In hushed tones and with an eye for passing farmers, we discussed the reality that the gardener in us would like to see a bit more rain.

It is haying time. Too many fields are still too wet. May the divine bless and protect the farmers.

“Old dogs and children…” Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes. God bless little children while they’re too young to hate. My life is brimming with both of these gifts. I have not needed to search for the watermelon wine! There is a growing number of dog lovers, or we are coming out of the closet. It matters not if we have been absent five minutes, five hours or five days, our four-legged friends are delighted with our return. Look at that! You came back! So glad to see you!

There are times when I solemnly avow they can speak. Let me know what they want – more than just the ‘I need to go pee’ look!

And the next time, when their eyes are sad and they stand there hunched and pleading, I would give a minute to them to tell me what hurts, where and why – and little children.

There is a freshness and innocence about them that I wish would last a little longer. The sense that the whole world is a gift and a mystery is all too soon ripped from their eyes.

For the first time this summer, we have been able to mow the front yard right to the boundary line. The water has evaporated leaving a dull coat on the reed grass. The ruts make for an interesting ride. The soil smells sour. But I watched a couple of those long green spotted frogs stretching for safety as the tractor rumbled by. My hop toad truly is gone, and I have only seen the two butterflies, so even the movement of the snake through the grass and the leaping of frogs are welcome natural sights. (I do wonder what is spraying the patio door at night?)

The daylight hours are markedly decreasing. The lingering glow in the west sky comes ever earlier. But we have had incredible sunsets this week. There is an opening in our tree line, and I brave the hoards of hungry mosquitoes to stand and watch the fingers of God shift the clouds and colour patterns. An etch-a -sketch of divine proportions. And hues and tones not replicated in paint cans anywhere.

Life is good.