October 30

Finding Wisdom in the Woods

“Can I walk Mr. Riley?”

“Of course!”

We leashed the dogs and headed over to the open area just behind the house. The field where the trees and woods cause the imagination to run as wild and free as the two bucks and four fawns that hang out there more than I do.

It’s one of my happy places and we were on a mission for better bark materials so we could make a super cute bark owl like the ones we created last Thursday at the Cibolo Nature Center.

When she tried to pull a piece off one of the towering oak trees I reminded her that was sort of like skinning us alive and we had to use the bark that had already fallen on the ground.

She smiled and made a little snort of a laugh because sometimes I have a way of explaining things that’s just twisted enough for an almost-middle-schooler to enjoy.

The pecan trees down in the valley were holding onto to their pie booty the way a toddler clenches a Tootsie Pop. No matter how I shook the branches, they were just not quite ready. So while my friend looked for the perfect craft bark, I scoured the tall grasses for fallen shells.

Charlie, my shelter dog, loves pecans and gets so impatient waiting for me to palm crack them, he just starts crushing the shell with his teeth.

Pretty soon, we had a pocket of pecans and some good crafty bark wood.

This nature wandering was really just a way to help us through our own impatience as we waited for the Halloween cookies to dry. We were one step away from a Food Network style bake-off and certain our cat eyes were the perfect combination of both blue and creepy.

While we were sidetracked with our scavenger hunt of nature items, the dogs wandered. Just to the edge of the fence.

Of course when you yell at dogs, they don’t always listen, but instead, run the other way. Under the fence they went as we began the chase. Carefully, we lifted the wire, ducking our heads just so and maneuvering our way in between the strands of barbed wire.

My favorite scarf got hung up and tore a tad while my friend took the lead. Thankfully, she is fast, limber and a great dog wrangler.

We each grab a leash and headed back to the house, suddenly noticing that about 10 feet from where we crossed the fence before, there was a giant unfenced opening.

“Oh, I guess we could have just gone through here.”

She laughed again, aware that I’m often ridiculous. Neither of us had seen the way through before. The funny thing is, when you stand far enough back in the meadow, you can clearly see the difference in the two ways to go. A clear and distinct, visual metaphor of my life it seemed, often making things harder than they have to be.

I suddenly felt like a wise old bark owl.

Who? Who?

 

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