Fall's Last Hurrah
Fall was having a last glorious fling. What a fun-filled walk it had been. I couldn't have chosen two more beloved companions, my son Cameron and his seven year old son, my grandson, Eliot. The undulating path around Lone Lake was an ideal choice for our escapade. The air was just cool enough to bring colour to our cheeks. My dear associates took turns pushing the wheelchair. Eliot would call excitedly as he dashed off on exploratory offshoots into the woods. He'd found an abandoned bird's nest, or a paricularly magnificent bullrush. Next time we'll bring a bag for our treasures.
Then the grand cullmination, a canoe ride across the lake, while Grandma watched on shore from her wheelchair. The canoe had been safely strapped to the top of the car. Eliot exalted in his prowess, as he assisted his Dad carrying it to the end of the dock. The wind was rising. They wrapped Grandma in a blanket from the car, and found a secluded spot under a tree. I was impressed with Eliot's paddling skills, but then Grandma's have that wont with grandsons don't they?
Suddenly I realized I was not alone. A beautiful Irish setter was sitting with me. I was momentarily a mite taken aback. There was a defenselessness to wheel chair life to which I was yet not accustomed. I was on a slight slope. But the dog showed only signs of being friend, not foe. I cautiously stroked her long well kept hair. She rested her head on my lap. A peace pervaded us. Somehow the very quiet was the key to the scene's enchantment. The thought crossed my mind that the word for animal in Latin came from animus, soul - the unutterable, in man. There was surely some profound philosophical meaning here, but it was much more pleasurable to abandon myself to the pure joy of the moment, and put away delectable dissecting for another day.
I suddenly heard the voices of my returning explorers, chattering excitedly about a momentous discovery on the other side of the lake, a duck blind.
There was also a low whistle from a knoll behind me, and my Irish setter obediently returned to his mastser, who, unbeknown to me, had been a nearby surveyor of the scene, leaving us to enjoy the gift of each other.
by Colleen Gordon