Walking the dog

I went for a walk this evening.

I’m a bit of an evening person. Unlike my husband, who is a morning person. It makes for an interesting relationship. He’s up at the crack of dawn with a cheery ‘good morning’ practically shining out of all of his orifices, while I’m barely sliding a glance his way and mumbling incoherently something better left obscure. Honestly! Some people have a nerve to be so happy at that time of the day.

Mum and dad are the same. Dad is up before the sparrow farts. Mum doesn’t surface until well after the sparrow has farted, fed itself and its offspring and foraged for a good 2 hours into its day.

But back to my walk. I usually wait until its dark. By this time of the evening, there’s no getting my husband out of his armchair, which is a pity, as he is missing, in my opinion, the best time of the 24-hour day.

The fact that I live on an island makes the prospect of an evening walk that much more enjoyable. Sure, you can get your early morning kick from walking along the beach as the sun rises and  glistens over the gentle flow of the tide as it washes to the shoreline while you quietly contemplate your day, but nothing beats  the glow of the moon as it ripples into a black velvety ocean, bordered by the endless glint of the  night sky.

There is something peaceful, yet thought-provoking, as I meander along with my dogs, squelching the soft sand between my toes as I move forward. My sight is diminished in the deceptive black-greyness that surrounds me, but there is so much going on! My ears pick up the sounds of the wind as it slides through the trees and flicks the sand at my feet. I count the sounds as each tree rustles and moves along like a crowd-wave at a football game. I hear a curlew crying off in the distance. Others in the curlew contingent join in for moral support. This  triggers all sort of amazing whoops, titters, clacks, chirps, and chatters from the surrounding scrub. Life is teeming in every nook and cranny, exacerbated by the cloak of anonymity that engulfs us all.

I walk a little further, my mood light and my mind now clear. My shoes crunch along a pebbled path winding away from the beach and back onto a road. I can see a dimly-lit street amidst a canopy of trees. It is almost surreal as it beams off into the distance like a golden tunnel in a  system of street lighting that mixes island ambience with a touch of recent modernisation. It reminds me of something I knew as a child, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It feels comfortable, like home.

I look into the sky. The half moon lights up a cloud sliver as it slides beneath its glow. I see the silhouette of a sea hawk as it hovers for a moment and disappears sharply into the trees. I hear a bluster in the bush and a squeal, and thank the lord that I’m somewhat bigger than a rodent.

As I turn towards home, I find that I am relaxed. The agitation of the day has disappeared into the clean, crisp air that envelopes me. My dogs are happy. I’m happy.

I might just make a habit of it.


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