My hubby and I adopted a 4-year-old golden retriever earlier this year. In our empty nest, she’s delivered a new layer of unconditional love and snuggles. And she’s the best walking buddy I could ask for!
Aunt Bee is always ready to go for a walk, and she loves exploring along our route. Having grown up in the city, she now enjoys the birds, rabbits, and even a newly-discovered skunk, in her new life in the country. One thing I’ve noticed on these walks: both of us delight in this special time to notice, observe, and enjoy our surroundings.
We’ve been walking together long enough to witness the changing seasons and length of the days—first the stretching of daylight as summer arrived and now the earlier sunsets as fall looms near. Aunt Bee’s ears are alert when she hears the hoot of an owl as we pass Grandpa’s old barn. We watch the starkness of the white cowbirds waddle across the black dirt farm rows then take off in flight. We observe the ever-widening cracks in the soil and the browning grasses as the summer drought takes hold. We hear the taunts of the mockingbirds perched on the power lines overhead. Aunt Bee, ever the hunter, sniffs the trail, her nose never ceasing, identifying mysteriously new scents. We feel the chill of the early morning air on our walks during the spring and the tingling heat of hot summer evenings. Our walk times adapt to the changing seasons, and we become aware of the nuances of the sky, the changing colors and cloud formations of sunrise and sunset in each season.
As we notice and observe, we enjoy. That enjoyment springs forth a long list of blessings in my mind. And those blessings endear gratitude and a deep sense of knowing that everything good and delightful comes from God.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” (James 1:17, NIV).