The Wild Swans at Coole by William Butler Yeats

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty Swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
Portrait by W. B. Yeats painted by Purser, Sarah (1848 – 1943)

November 27 River Walk

It was such a special night at the river!  I took Max to the spot where I used to walk a loop with Laurie-dog for 14 years.  I didn’t realize how that would impact me!  But, just as I came over the edge of the ridge and started on the steep slope toward the river, the sky opened up in the most amazing colour… to the south, lavender clouds lined in gold and yellow; to the north, warm pink and violet…the river was silver in the light and with that and with Max’s excitement, I found myself crying.
I thanked Lawrence quietly to myself, for the gift he has been to me…and for this walk that he had made so special!  I took Max off leash and he bounded through the tall grass just as Laurie had done.  He ran circles through the rose bushes, giving no care to the fact that he might later find his feet sore with thistles.  He sniffed beneath the tall shrubs where the magpies perch…and ran in and out…after pheasant…and following the scent of deer, coyote and beaver.  The droppings…the snake skins, now dry and decomposing…remnants of summer.  It was all so familiar that I could not stop from crying.  Another step along the way of grief and grieving!  I love my new boy!

Wintry Evening Magic

Everything at the river was deep umber, paynes grey and white…it was as though I was looking at a painting in monochrome.  It was so quiet, as all sound was absorbed by last night’s snow…so that I had a spooked feeling…I was creeped out…and I started speaking out loud to Max.  (not that I don’t talk to the guy non-stop anyway!) We made our way through some tall brush when, like two noble men, two male deer stepped out in front of us…all I could think about was their beautiful faces. I was in awe by their deep brown eyes…black noses…muscular bodies noticing that there were several points on their antlers. Instead of walking away from Max and I, they surprised me by walking toward me…froze…a few more steps…froze….then, without incident of any sort, they turned to the left and traversed the hill in front of us.  It was unbelievable!  So completely surprising. (I also can not believe that in these situations, Max sits perfectly still at my side and watches…thank you Max!)  Walking furthur, the geese continued to pour over the horizon, flying west to the river…this location is certainly the most dramatic setting for such observations.  I will return to the same place again and again.

Full Moon

Last evening, I took Max out to a spot by the river where I could let him run and bound through the tall grass.  It was an absolutely magical time of day and place…the November air still being perfect in so many ways.  Winter feels close but remains…just a titch away.  A full moon hung large on the horizon…brilliant white…and all else seemed in relationship to the moon…nothing else was singular, but partnered by the light and the connection to the moon.  I was in awe.  Geese flew overhead in huge numbers…their sound creating and unbelievable cacophony as they settled along an eddy of the river.  All of a sudden, a white tailed deer struck out from the softening brush, bursting the air with it’s movement….alarmed, in the brilliance of a full moon. 

Cold Is a Comin'

First Snow and a Week In the Life

My daughter says that I should only use that particular handwritten font on wedding invitations and that her brain is tired of trying to figure it out…so, I will write using a basic Ariel font from this time forward.  But isn’t the colour nice?

When the first snow hit Calgary, Max Man was still in his cone.  It’s been eleven days since his surgery, so stitches will come out on Monday and I’ll be so glad that I will no longer have to be totally vigilant about guarding them.  It’s been a long haul and I’m glad for him to be in good health again.

On the first snow day, Max went out with his protective cone over his head and resembled a snow plow more than anything.  I laughed to myself as he continued to plow up snow onto his face, as he sniffed about, looking for an ideal spot to lift a leg.  At the park, our ball throwing was equally pathetic, as each ball plunked into the wet snow and bounced nowhere.  Max, over and over again, did a search and rescue, licking the snow off of the tennis ball, before returning to me. We’re going to have to do something about finding a new play toy for his morning activity on school days.


He and I have returned to the river, but on leash and are struggling with the dragging.  Max just wants to run. Too bad our Polite Pooches money was poured into surgery this month as I really want to get some tips on some things, one being leash behaviours.  We aren’t able to begin agility training until the polite pooches class happens, so we’re on a bit of a hold.

Today is going to be filled up to the brim because yesterday was a play day after a crazy burrito and sangria party, early morning papier mache trees, a ya ya lunch of french cuisine…it’s time to roll up the shirt sleeves and get some things accomplished!  Max awaits his morning romp outdoors. HOLA!

History in the Making!

A tremendous event last evening here at home…watching the reactions of people as the next President-elect was announced!  I will never forget looking at the vast crowds of Americans and their reactions!  Amazing! Obama’s speech was so filled with resolve.  I think that there is hope for America as an entity in the world as a result of the vote last night!

Acceptance Speech