Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I Am Trained

I, Bernedoodle and double-Bengal owner, have been trained:
  • Never leave a closet door, cupboard or drawer open.
  • Never leave boxes, suitcases, purses or packages open or accessible.
  • Go to the bathroom alone and close the door after you when you go in or out.
  • Share all toast and apples.
  • Anything and everything under 5 pounds is a toy. Don’t leave anything out that you want later.
  • Want to cook? Feed and exhaust both cats.
  • Want to write? Feed and exhaust Sheba.
  • Want time alone? Feed and exhaust all animals.
  • If you want to be left alone, don't crinkle cellophane. 
  • If you don't want to feed the pets, don't crinkle cellophane. 
  • All exposed liquids will be tasted.

I’ve traded boredom for exhaustion. Last night I went to bed at eight, exhausted after a day of doing nothing in particular — just another day of constant motion.
I remember countless days in Vancouver when I’d wake up and wonder what the Hell I was going to do. Boredom drove me to become a long-distance walker and project conjurer. Here, three buildings, three pets and half an off-the-grid acre keep me going… and going and going. But I’m glad Darrell wants to do the courtyard. The thought of lifting all the pavers makes my joints creak.
I keep thinking about Africa. This morning, on my early morning walk with Sheba, I realized why. Only here on Gabriola and in Africa have I walked through a mixed landscape of nature and man-made structures at length and entirely alone.
I’m an urban/village person. I never ventured into wilderness. But here, as in Africa, I’m in both concurrently and I love it. The frequent neighbourhood walks I now take, undertaken to keep Sheba from digging, have proven as beneficial to me.
I’m very “wrapped up” in my own space but my walks remind me that the whole island is paradise.
Yesterday evening I went out to top-up the bird feeder. There was a small Pileated Woodpecker eating suet as I approached so I stepped softly. She saw me; she’d eat, then check me out and then go back to eating in an endless cycle. I got to two feet from her and froze. It was such a privilege to be so close. It made me tear up. I’m convinced the regulars recognize me. The Jays that have gone somewhere, replaced by the Thrushes, used to pester me for food.

Look how high his sporran is. 

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