we went for a walk…

by dishpantheism

we went for a walk late this afternoon. soon after we set out the fog began blowing in from the sea. it got quite cold but  we were walking and warm. one of our favorite dead trees blew over in the last storm. it was a magnificent tree covered in turkey tail fungus. someone recently cut it into segments with a chainsaw and dragged it out of the path. we stopped to take our last farewells of the tree. as we left sister walked in front of me. suddenly she stopped and pointed at the path in front of us. there was a fox loping down the path very slowly away from us. we were down wind of the fox and he seemed completely unconcerned that we were behind him. he crossed a little freshet and crawled through a barbed wire fence to the south-west. we stopped and watched him. he picked his way slowly through a swampy pasture. he'd pause every few steps and look at us. he couldn't smell us but he must have been interested by our whispering. to our complete surprise he didn't continue across the pasture and into the wood. he walked to the edge of the wood and curled up in a pile of oak leaves. he started grooming himself as though we weren't even there. he was so similar to the color of the dead leaves that when he was motionless he seemed to disappear completely. as he licked the fur on his back the pale patches under his chin made him appear and disappear. then he stretched out his front legs and rested his beautiful long muzzle on them for a pillow. we watched him for over a quarter of an hour. the little stream trickled behind us. magical. when a strong wind came tearing through the trees the fox would swivel his ears. and once when the magpies raised their voices he lifted his head and looked over his shoulder. but he went back to napping. eventually we walked on. when we returned by the same course he was still napping there. only lifted his chin a bit as we passed. too perfect.

part of me imagined some kind of wonderful beatrix potter-ish scene just out of view. like foxes taking tea behind the snowberry and this one lone fox keeping guard. i can just hear my former biology teacher chiding me for anthropomorphizing the poor little foxes. oh well.

i picked some twigs of arroyo willow. the fuzzy grey buds have formed. a few have even unfurled into the lovely smelling yellow caterpillar-ish flowers. i like the buds better. they resemble owlets.

tomorrow we're going to the movies. gonna see "there will be blood." i hope it's as good as i anticipate.

here's a photo of the pasture where we saw the fox. it's an older photo. i love love love this lichen-covered tree. it smells wonderful. we've often seen wild turkeys beneath it. and just out of frame there's a patch of wild garlic growing. the fox was napping between the grey stump in the background and the oaks to the right.

when we returned home i took a nap. i had the most terrible but somehow very beautiful dream about an order of nuns who tended donkeys. i went riding and came upon a small girl who told me all about the donkeys. then i rode on. i found one of them dead in the road. had been hit by a truck. quite dead. i rode on. i came upon a small boy. he was wearing a cowboy hat and a really old school cowboy shirt. he was sobbing and laughing. his hands and shirt were bloody. he held reins in his hands. he was tugging on them very hard and crying. he looked up at me in the most exasperated way. silently plead with me to help him. i realized that the lovely white horse whose lead he held had two very broken front legs. i could see the bones protruding. i became really frightened because i knew the boy was in shock. i kept saying, "she's gone, sweetheart. she's gone. come here. let go. it's finished." but every time i said it the poor creature would whinny and the boy would look at me pleadingly again. it was terrible and vivid. and i'm sure it would be fodder for my analyst if i had one.