A Lungful of Nature

I wish it was raining, was the surprising thought that popped into my head on my early morning dog walk today. I was staring skyward, watching empty branches scratching their way across the windy sky, when the sudden urge for rain took me. I think it was a desire to be touched by the weather, rather than just observe it. A face full of morning rain would have been just what the doctor ordered, as I felt sluggish and battered and still asleep. I needed a pick me up and fast.

A morning dog walk is always how I start my day. The venue changes, but the plan is always the same, to ease my way into the day while running the peskiness out of my adolescent dog. For me dog walking also offers a daily opportunity to reconnect with nature. Wherever we go, park, woods or nature reserve, I always check in with the trees; I devour their architectural loveliness, earthy tones and the clattery, chattering of their branches when stirred by the wind. The birds too have become an unexpected delight, I’m charmed by the sight of acrobatic seagulls and startled by the dry rasp of a crow’s wings as it overtakes me on a hill.

The song birds’ chorus is always uplifting, each species has its solo, a chance to shine high above the others. Their tunefulness follows me as I pick my way along dew soaked paths, following my dog’s wagging tail. My eyes might be looking down, but my head’s high up in the clouds, despite my sodden feet that are stinging with cold.

Whatever the weather and regardless of how long we’ve walked, Bess and I both slow as we come to the end of our walk. On quiet work days, I’ll sometimes let her linger and play a while longer with a passing pooch, but today being Monday, we walk sombrely back to the car, grateful for our lungful of nature, but ever hopefully for a spot of rain.