stevieannie: (Country Gal)
[personal profile] stevieannie
 It's a beautiful day here - not too cold, occasional bursts of sunshine and thick, creamy cloud rolling over the sky in swathes.  The wind is strong, but fresh and bears the scent of Oilseed Rape standing in the fields - I'm lucky not to be allergic, so I can enjoy the thick, sweet smell of it.

"Why don't we go out?" said Sovay to me, her head on one side, looking at the lead.
"Good point, puppy," said I, and dutifully started the ritual of The Walk.  This ritual involves putting on some shoes (street shoes or walking boots, depending on the weather and where we fancy going), putting the poobags in my pocket and picking up the lead whilst saying, "Walkies?  Walkies, Sovay?", whilst Sovay bounces up and down vertically without appearing to put any effort into it (imagine a basketball bouncing, and you'll about have it).  The further through the ritual we get, the higher she bounces, until finally I have my coat on, and she is all but shouting "WALKIES!!! HOT DAMN!!!  I LOVE WALKIES!!!!" in her own doggy little way.

The weather has dried enough that some of the country walks nearby are passable again (without scuba gear, that is), so I put on walking boots and we set out.  

Sovay is pretty happy with the street walk until we get to the place where the footpath diverges from the pavement.  She looks up at me.
"Country walk, Mum?  Really?  With rabbits and pheasants and fox poo and everything?  Really?" She can't speak out loud as such, but honestly, it's pretty easy to tell what she wants to say most of the time.  We have conversations a lot of the time, her lack of words has never stopped either of us.

I smile and open the kissing gate for her.  Normally, if I'm with another human I'll kiss them as we go through this gate, but Sovay is so intent on getting off the lead and running that there's no time for doggy kisses.  We close the gate behind us and I take off her lead.

I watch her run, and bounce and run and look back at me with her patented, "Look at me!!!  Have you EVER seen a dog this happy???  Have you???  Eh???  Well, since you let me off the lead yesterday, I mean..." look.   It's impossible not to smile - she loves the freedom so much.  And so - with much bouncing, love and laughter - we walk.  Up and along the old railway embankment, where there is enough gravel left to make it passable in wet weather, but where the hawthorns and blackthorns and dogroses crowd close to watch you and listen to your thoughts as you pass by.  Every now and again a rabbit bursts from cover, and runs for the warren, leaving Sovay so astonished that she forgets to chase it.  Pigeons bumble around in the trees overhead, and somewhere nearby we can hear a cock pheasant calling for his wife.  Under the trees there is a spill of plants - Comfrey, Plantain, Jack-in-the-Hedge, Kecksie and others that I don't recognise.  I remind myself to put new batteries into the camera so that I can take pictures to look up later.

Sovay makes the most of being off the lead, stopping and starting at her own pace, pausing to smell where the dogfox has marked his territory or gently nose a bumblebee.  If she stops, I carry on walking, leaving her some privacy for her own explorations.  Before long I hear the gentle thunder of her paws as she runs to catch up with me, overshoots and then stands in the middle of the path ahead, ears upright, tongue lolling and tail wagging as if it were going out of fashion.  Every now and again the sun comes out and we both stand and let the warmth wash over us before setting out again.

The wind rushes in the trees and hedges around us, but other than that, there is nothing to mask the sound of the birdsong.  Sometimes I hear a rustle and expect to see a little faery face staring out at me.  I see things moving at the corner of my eye, drop a curtsey and sing for them.  I sing "Lavender's Blue" and "Sovay".  

I could go back home via the A607 when the railway embankment footpath finishes, but neither Sovay or I are in the mood for traffic.  We turn around and walk home down the green lane, the way that we came, singing and bouncing as we go.  

It's been a good day.

I meant to take photographs whilst I was out, but forgot to change the camera batteries, so decided to take pictures with my heart and mind instead.  :-)  Happy Friday :-D
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