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

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Dog Walker's Variety Store

2 One-of-a Kinds

I'm not much of a shopper.  In fact, ugh.  I have abandoned half-full carts and baskets all across the northeast because I couldn't manage the chaos of all those people and all those carts and all those announcements and all those aisles.  But take me to the beach or out onto the trails with the dogs, and I become an ambling Saturday stroller at the market who could stay until long after closing.  I don't have the need to "buy" everything, but I do love to browse. And, I confess that even though I don't consider any of the goods to be mine, I can never quite leave empty-handed. I inevitably come home with some little gem stuffed into my pocket.

Today Artemis, Biscuit and I went for a slower than usual stroll out on the trails.  I talk incessantly to them because I know we have a bear family out there and, well, I'm not really hoping to get a close-up glimpse of them--if you know what I mean.  But we wandered slowly.  We stopped to soak up the sun at the stream.  As I sat life-guarding the dogs (who were doing more drinking than swimming), I started to  note all the different items in Nature's stock right at that moment.  I lost count pretty fast...

A pair of cardinals.  Blue-eyed grass (strikingly poised--which of us is the observer?). Tight, compact greeny-pink wild blackberries.  A red-winged blackbird.  Round smooth stones.  Coyote scat.  Racoon prints casually imprinted in the mud. Reeds.  Blueberry bushes.  A woodpecker's sculpted tree.  The tiniest littlest whitest ground flowers I've ever seen.  An orange moth.  A beaver's lodge.  Ducks. Jagged pieces of a broken mirror.  Two Canada geese.  Boot prints, about a size 13.  Pebbles.  Boulders. Lots of beautifully shaped stones. The wind...

Lining the stream bed and the trail is a jumble of rocks and stones.  They own a very strong presence in this landscape. They require our concentration. Artie, Biscuit and I travel slowly over the stones--they are looking for something putrid to eat and I am just looking.  Biscuit, dear old Biscuit, breathes laboriously and lumbers along as if his All-Fours are of varying lengths, but he's smiling as we go.  Artie waits for him, patiently.  She looks back at him and says "You coming, Dear?"  He pretends he doesn't hear (but she and I know he does), and he comes along.

I am taken aback by the variety and the abundant uniqueness of these stones. They are magnificent. I wonder why all the stones of the universe haven't been snatched up and displayed on mantles and dining tables and book shelves across the globe. And then I'm thankful they're not.  This display puts me in my place.  We three continue on together, wandering these aisles, happy as can be.

And in the midst of our walk and the hustle and bustle of the birds and wind, I found that one particular one.  And in a while later, I found an-other particular one.  And I just couldn't resist.  Don't worry--there are many more still back there for you to see, if you'd like.  But right there under our noses were these two distinctive heart stones, as distinctive as my Saturday companions.  One for Artie, one for Biscuit.

And free, for me.


  1. ... and no loudspeakers. Nice one, Alice.

  2. alice-so glad you're blogging more....summer is wonderful :) even better to come home from a nice day and see you wrote. Love your stories

  3. thank you, anonymous. summer indeed. love your comments. thank you.

  4. Alice,
    I came to you thru a mutual friend, Maria. She has your link on her blog. I took it as a recommendation and now I enjoy stopping by to see what you have written. There is something about how you write and what you write about that I find calming and reassuring.

  5. erin,

    thank you so much. i am happy to be of service. writing is a great way to give voice to the little things.