He sits at the trailhead in advance of the game, quivering, waiting — even after I drop the leash, quivering and waiting some more. His eyes locked on mine.
Teaching him these forms of relationship has been easy. But there is a dog at the other end of the field — off leash — so I don’t really have time to relish his stellar performance.
We play at our end of the field and the other dog and human soon wander off. The ground crunches under foot. Temperatures dropped to the low twenties last night and it is still cold. In search of the ball, Finn shovels his nose through piles of rimed oak leaves and soon wears frost like makeup.
As we’re leaving, another dog heads down Langley Path so we change course and head home through the schoolyard.
I wanted to share a picture of my painted contribution to the parking lot mural — a ripped open bag of gold, spilling its contents to the ground — you know, how I might have chosen a more auspicious image and isn’t it too bad I don’t remember what the boys painted (how old were they then? Six and eight?) — but LO — I am silenced — star struck even — by what is painted above: just look at that Mama Bear and her cub! Two polar bears curled into each other in the shelter of their den, in the sanctuary of care. The image is not the least bit pocked by the applications of salt, not the least bit obscured by the raggedy, late season weeds fringing the wall below. Just there — clear and pure, somehow. A symbol of some importance this week.