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Six

There is a way she has of lying down behind me when I sit out on the lawn that is both invitation and request. I reach back and plow my fingers through the arctic fur to work the muscles in her neck. She presses a blunt white paw into my ribs for leverage and the fire in her hazel eye sparks and smolders. We remember the land bridge. The crossing we made together. And we confirm anew this old, mammalian pledge of fang and thumb. This co-dependence of six legs....

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Unkenneled

  Relief softens his form as he flattens himself on the floor, nose resting at my heel. Paws subtly flex and curl. Tension flows into the grain of the oak. Five hours of fear, chain link and concrete, and the sting of being ignored. His eyes close. He is happy. Now in my kitchen with his ear flap smooth against the cool wood his broad nose blows small puffs of warmth at my heel. He relaxes. How easy it is to give comfort. How lucky when kindness is simple. This one just wanting release...

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Homework

  I abandon my assignment. I will not follow instructions, but sit impassively with the pine trees listening to a distant chainsaw and a dog barking questions. My eyes trace the curves of the southeastern hillsides, remembering the fire and studying the shape of the burn. I will not return at the appointed hour. I walk along the edge of the mountain’s granite apron to the skull of a bobcat, where I busy myself collecting its teeth, fitting them carefully into each socket. At sunset I...

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Become My Body

    I have not blogged in a while because my beautiful german shepherd Saxon died recently. It was sudden. And utterly heart-breaking. The thing about loving a dog is that they make it safe to give your whole heart. And they give themselves to you completely. We human beings inevitably hurt and wound each other… carry resentments and grievances… but with a dog the love is pure and without shadows, and to lose such love is devastating.   Before the Beginning ~ by...

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Snowy Sunday

We spent this morning skiing with the dogs, delighting in the new snow we received on Saturday. It was our own version of church. There was a choir of meadowlarks. Prayers were said. A young raptor glided over us and delivered a blessing. We are blessed. And grateful. I’ve been reading Sky Above, Earth Below, by John Milton. He has guided spiritual quests in nature for decades and the book describes a number of the practices that he uses. They are mainly kinesthetic, and many are derived...

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