Our walks grew shorter last winter and less frequent as Bacardi’s stamina diminished. Neither of us were willing to leave her at home alone. We chose instead to aid her as best we could on shorter walks between her endless naps. Sometimes E went to great lengths to include her in our adventures.
But today, like the mouse who ventures into the kitchen when the house grows quiet from the chaos of family traffic and chatter, we took our first three hour walk of the Fall throughout the island. We keep Sami on a leash in the summer when he is off our property and it grows tiresome for a dog who knows better. He was missing Bacardi. He was missing the fun of running headlong, full speed into a scrub of Salal on the hunt of a rabbit scent or deer trail. He doesn’t want to catch any of his animal neighbours he just wants to chase their scent and make sure they pose no threat to me. A smile replaced his recent melancholy .
I can’t walk with the island “Women Who Walk”. Their daily brisk excercise around the island is too fast for me. I walk so slowly sometimes I come to a dead stop. I am easily distracted by what I see and rarely make it very far without the temptation to take a picture in wonder.
My walks are of a more contemplative nature and I fear my friends would grow frustrated with my distracted manner. E has learned to slow his pace with me and often stops for longer periods and more often than I.
We walked the island today. The odour of wood burning fires was present for the first time since the spring. Neighbours savouring every last-minute of summer before they return to their city lives are evidenced by the scent which would have caused panic only two weeks ago on an island in the midst of a drought. The distinctive smell was common today as we progressed along rain soaked paths. It has been a long hot summer and the cooler temperatures this week are welcome and have inspired thoughts of cozy fires and good books.
Late one night this week I went into the kitchen and turned on the lights. I was going to put the dishes away which were drying in the rack. Looking up at me from behind the cold water tap was a mouse. He was surprised to see me. My usual bed time had passed and apparently it was his time in the kitchen not mine. He wasn’t as surprised to see me as I was to see him. I was not pleased. We have since spent the last three days trying to catch him… This morning we had success, however I am worried that this mouse had friends who will come looking for him…
The island, is quiet enough for a walk with our dog off leash but it isn’t as quiet as it will be next week or even better in November. But when there are fewer and fewer of us people on the island I fear that there will still be plenty of mice and they know now
where we live.