Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Life, dogs and everything

I came to D'arcy this weekend to collect my kayak from Sam's barn, and of course to visit with Sam and the dogs. The weather has become very fall-like, wet and gray. Nevertheless I always love the D'arcy area.

Friday was a half decent warm and sunny day, I left late because I did not want to spend a sunny afternoon in the car. Johanna and I went to the plaza to do a few errands and ended up shopping for clothes at Winners. I think we spent well over an hour in the fitting rooms there, not really a good use of a sunny day either.

I stopped in Whistler to do some grocery shopping for Sam, so by the time I got to D'arcy it was almost 9.00 pm. The first part of that drive, from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish, is absolutely spectacular. They did a lot of work on that highway in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, and turned it into one of the most scenic drives in North America. The vistas of Howe Sound, the mountains, the islands in the Sound and the big trees bordering the highway are breath-taking; each vista is followed by another even more spectacular.

Of course there is no way to take photos of it unless you are a passenger, because the winding fast-moving highway requires constant driver attention.

Upon arrival, I was greeted warmly by the dogs, Hapi and Hiro.

I slept that night in the truck because I really enjoy the feeling of being cozily warm in my sleeping bag in the cold night air. The river runs close to the cabin and the sound of it in the night is most relaxing.

In the morning I could see the two dogs sitting patiently outside my truck waiting for me to emerge, Sam was still asleep. When I got up they then moved on to the door of the cabin, Hiro leaped up against the door and barked. Sam says Malemutes don't bark, they talk. Any sound they make is intended to communicate a specific message. In this case Hiro was saying, Wake up and feed me!

It rained lightly most of the morning. When the rain finally cleared we took the dogs for a long walk up the trail to the logging road on the mountain. On our way back, we saw a bear ahead of us on the trail. It look young, it was just lying in the middle of the trail facing away from us. Quickly Sam and I grabbed the dogs' collars and continued to walk toward the bear. The bear turned and saw us, he got up and watched us for a few seconds before deciding to go away. Sam said that if the bear had decided not to leave he would have set the dogs loose. Better them than us, he said.

After lunch we got the kayak out of the barn and mounted it on the truck.

Sam had a nap and I played with Hiro. Hapi likes to play with Hiro but not with people, Hiro likes to play with anyone who will play with him.

We stayed up late watching a movie, I think I got to bed around 2.00 am and Sam was up considerably longer. It rained during the night and much of the next morning, I talked to my brother in Victoria and my son Josh in Vancouver and they both reported torrential downpours where they were. D'arcy tends to be drier so we saw rain but not torrential rain.

Again we took the dogs for a walk on the mountain, this time we got a little wet. Sam says he has been pre-occupied with rather morbid thoughts lately. He has come to the conclusion that there is no afterlife, he loves being alive, and he doesn't want to die. This bothers him. He is also concerned that his father died in his late 50 and, this might not bode well for his own longevity. Consequently he is very concerned about staying healthy.

I have no argument with his logic or concerns, I tell him that the age at which one's parents die does not automatically mean anything. My father feared he would not live beyond 65 because his own father died at that age (within weeks of retiring), but he managed almost 12 years beyond that age. I said I understood his fear, I had the same fear about the age at which my parents died. But it isn't necessarily a valid fear. I said the best one can do is really take note of and enjoy what is in front of you right now. The fact that one day it will all be gone just makes it precious.

We were walking along a logging road halfway up a mountainside with amazing vistas of the valley below and the mountains on the other side. This day it was cloudy and wet, some of the trees were starting to turn yellow. These mountains are spectacular in the sunshine, but today they are shrouded in cloud and mist and that is beautiful too.

I love the way the mist rises from the wet forests, creating clouds right before your eyes.

And the long billowy worm-clouds that thread along the sides of the mountains, between and over ridges.

The peek-a-boo views of peaks in the heavy clouds above. We can hear the rushing of the swollen river hidden in the trees below us.

Far ahead of us on the trail are the two dogs, trotting along side by side with their tails curled on their backs in that classic Malemute way.

Being big dogs their lifespans will not be particularly long, but I am sure this thought does not cross their minds.


Barbara Anne said...

What a wonderful place to live! Sam, Hapi, and Hiro are blessed to be there to enjoy all that is around them and you are blessed to share it with them now.

Wise woman. All we ever have is now so your surroundings and the people you're with are to be appreciated and enjoyed. You and Sam are doing that very well indeed.

How is little Eva?


Annie said...

Hi Barbara Anne, let's just say that Eva is being a handful... the parents are getting the crash course in parenting on no sleep.

Sam and his dogs do indeed live in a lovely place, but as Bill Cosby once said, This too shall pass...