Friday, January 29, 2021

A Puppy and His Unique Taste Buds Leads the Author on a Thoughtful Journey

Our puppy, Nigel, discovered a weird and to a human, disgusting appetizer, wild goose poop. Before I could stop him, he had ingested several green droppings, which he discovered on our mid-day walk past the man-made pond in our neighborhood.

The next day, at exactly 2:48 am, he barked me awake from a very warm and cozy sleep, with an urgent, I have to go out..NOW.

 We have councils of wild geese that land in droves by the pond, where they graze and bath as if visiting a posh spa. Before lifting off to warmer climates, they create a landmine of a mess and a tempting buffet for the neighborhood dogs.

I don’t fault the geese or the dogs, they both have a stake in the land. As do the coyotes and foxes that can prey on the smaller dogs, if they are not tethered to their two-legged companions.

 We too, have a stake in the land. But our vision is stilted and narrow minded. We see the land as a tool to further our ambitions. We believe the land is here for us, for our taking, to do as we please.

 The American Indians thought the white invaders devil-crazy when they approached them to “buy their land”.

 The land belongs to no man. The land belongs to the land. It would be as crazy as offering to buy the sky; above, below, it’s all free to be.

 Only it’s not. Look where we are. We have lost our relationship with the land, smothered her with concrete, burdened her with buildings, some Babylon tower tall, stripped her bare and clothed her with tracts of housing, shopping malls, airports, cities and roads. Molten tar and soul crushing concrete to shape and map sinewy highways across this land and lands throughout.

Our eyes yearn for those pristine areas of majesty and our ears cry for their holy silence. When we see a photo, we are stunned by her beauty and wish to be transported, not to tame but to be held in her thrall, to honor, witness, and explore her wild wilderness.

So, when I see a coyote, or a fox, or a hawk flying high in the sky, I feel blessed to witness their wildness and I feel a measure of sadness as we continue to encroach on their stake in the land and force them into smaller and smaller spaces of survival. And I always make sure I know exactly where my four-legged companion is.