verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mayfield Morning

Look at this face. Look at those eyes. Say no more...

This morning was so humid that you could hear it. There's a subtle buzz or hiss in the air when it gets this hot and humid, but it can only be heard in the early morning and then the day gets too cluttered to hear it later. I started my morning with Tucker. We went to town again to walk to Mayfield, where the horses are and where Main Street meets the fields of Gibbet Hill. Our town center has traffic, cafes, and shops, but the local farms are all situated right along Main Street so that we also have fields, stone walls, foot paths, cows, goats, and chickens providing the immediate backdrop.

There is something so precious about this particular walk, and in the early morning its beauty is especially penetrating. Tucker loves to go there too and we go without talking about it much. Our Mayfield walk is a little like going to church together. It doesn't happen anywhere else like that but there's something about this one....

At the end of the path this morning, we stopped. Tucker was in no rush and he paused to look. We had seen wild turkeys run through a yard moments before. For birds who aren't known for their flying skills, they aren't really good runners, either. They not only look awkward, but they also seem embarrassed by it.

Mayfield ends at the base of the hills. We usually go to the lane's edge and today we stayed awhile. I watched Tucker. I tried to look up and out to take in the landscape, but I couldn't hold my gaze for long. The hills with their loosestrife and lace and greens were so exquisite that I simply can't describe its beauty. But you might know what I'm talking about if you have ever been so struck by the magnificence of a scene or a moment that you could lay down and cry. That's what I saw and felt. And, I did--I cried. Silly...

But as I watched how Tucker took this in, I saw that he looked right at it and, well, you can see by his eyes that he isn't afraid to really see what's there. And so there we stood for several minutes, in this scene and squarely in its moment, and I felt all its vulnerability. In order to be in that very moment, I had to let go of anything outside of it--all that's gone, and all that's ahead. Doing that gives birth to the vulnerability of being alive. Unlike Tucker, I found myself shying away from fully taking this in--perhaps I am only capable of short glimpses of such reality. But I so admire Tucker and his courage to simply be still.

Eventually, we wandered back home. We had had such a wonderfully quiet experience together and I was so grateful for his company. When it was time to say goodbye, he did this little trick of his: he turned again to give me his full attention. Those are the eyes you see above. To me they are full of love and courage. I have no doubt that we shared the same experience on Mayfield. His subtle but rapt attentiveness to our walking--the gentle cues from the lead line, my pace, my voice--is full of mutual regard. What a treasure to know. But where he soars and I fumble is in goodbye. As we climbed the stairs to his front door, he looked back at me with only fleeting anticipation of our next walk together. And then he went right in, no need to linger, no need to worry about next time. If I come, he'll be happy for sure. But for right now, he's not going to worry about it. And in fact, not only for right now, but forever, he's not going to worry about it. He's just going to be. And content, besides. I'm not sure whether that's faith or freedom or both.

I'm going to stick by dear Tucker for awhile until I learn to do his trick.

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