An unexpected book arrived in the mail the other day. A gift from my friend’s at Wisdom Publications. Zen Master Raven: The Teachings of a Wise Old Bird. by Zen Master human form, Robert Aitken. Here the koans are told by and to animals of the forest: raven, porcupine, owl, woodpecker, badger, black bear, and […]
A friend was visiting from the West Coast. He was looking forward to the crisp, colorful autumn of Vermont. To his and my surprise, summer persisted through past the middle of October.
The colors have persisted too. The nights have been cool, but no cooler than many nights this summer. My wood stove mostly gathers dust.
The day after my friend departed, the temperature dipped and I could detect the characteristic smell of fall in the air.
The weather would be a cause for celebration if not for the looming specter of climate change. Is this remarkable stretch of weather due to climate change? That is not a question that is easily answered.
What is also unsettling is the unexpected. Perhaps it is an attachment for things being the way they “should” be. Of course, that is silliness. Change is the order of things.
The dogs don’t seem to mind. For them, all they notice is what they can notice and it is a world beyond our perception. They continue to run, smell, and explore regardless of the weather. The fallen leaves provide a bed of crackling fun to their high speed romps through the woods.
They also don’t notice the spectacular view from the top of the hill. Late fall in its full brilliance. They are spared this particular obsession. Life for them is relatively simple: eat, play, love.
I think we could use more of that in our lives. Every moment is an opportunity for adventure for them. They never say no to an opportunity to go outside, to chase a stick, to jump on the bed. They don’t create art, skyscrapers, or war. Their neuroses are few and the ones they do have relate to elemental attachment issues. Love makes us all vulnerable.
Almost any moment is a good moment to take a nap too. I often watch the dogs with wonder, awe, and a bit of envy. My head is busy, complicated, and searching. Who knows what is going on in their minds. We do know that they are experiencing emotions much the same as us as a lovely article in the Sunday Times reveals, but this is far cry from our word-based complexities.
The colors will soon be gone and the trees bare. The dogs will not notice or mind. They will continue to eat, play, and love.