The trails behind my house lead into wilderness. Usually, as I trek well-known routes, I'm alone with my thoughts, only encountering animal tracks or small critters as I move through the forest. Recently, I saw someone in the distance as I steadily climbed upward. He was bent over a full pack, rearranging his gear. He didn't hear me approaching. I called out to him when I was quite close so he wouldn't be startled. As he turned to face me, I took in his appearance - old-fashioned wool pants sharply creased, stylish cable knit sweater tucked under red suspenders, and heavy newsboy cap with ear flaps pulled snugly over tousled blond hair. Ancient wooden touring skis, polished to a luster, were stuck into the deeper snow just off the trail. With his boyish good looks, he could have stepped right out of a photo shoot for a fashion mag or perhaps an ad for LLBean. It flashed into my mind that I'd crossed a time warp and was back in the late 1800's. But the spell was broken when he smiled broadly and asked if I knew the trail. Could I tell him where he was headed? I thought perhaps he was going for an overnight at Francies Cabin, a back country hut that's accessed from the trail we were traveling. But, no - he was just heading into the wilderness. Would he pitch a tent or build a snow cave to spend the night? I didn't ask, but as I waved goodbye my mind was already making up stories about who he was, where he'd acquired his dated gear, why he was alone on the trail, and what his fate would be. A meeting of a few minutes can entertain me for days.
It's bad timing to go to the grocery store over a holiday weekend in our ski resort town, but I'm expecting guests tomorrow so I had to brave the crowds. Recently, the deli counter began a new practice of slicing all lunch meats to order. The to-order slicing takes an incredible amount of time, and the woman who usually provides the service is always in a bad mood. She reminds me of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld: never smiling, avoiding eye contact, barely acknowledging the customer's presence. People waiting often raise their eyebrows at each other. In a way, her bad mood amuses the rest of us. Lately, I've been smiling broadly at her, thanking her profusely, and sending her positive vibes. Today, I mentally concentrated on sending her hopes for finding One Good Thing. I figure her problems must be much worse than waiting for sandwich meat!
Today, I'm celebrating a very special Chocolate Lab named K who lives with my Blog friend, KB (Romping and Rolling in the Rockies). K is a sensitive, loyal canine companion who is currently battling osteosarcoma. Daily, when I read KB's Blog and see her luminous photos of the Colorado paradise she calls home, I smile at K's beautiful fur lit by the morning sun, her soulful amber eyes looking out at me from the pictures. I laugh at her "batty" ears flying upward when she runs. K doesn't fret about past mistakes. She doesn't worry about the problems tomorrow might bring. In fact, K is a perfect role model for living in the present - for enjoying Life now. Bonded in spirit to her humans, K shows us what it means to be selfless. Well loved, she poses on boulders that look out over high peaks and knows she's queen of her domain.
I'm joining with other bloggers to celebrate the life of a very special dog. K is my One Good Thing today. For her family, she's the one good thing every day. With her big heart and her zest for life, she teaches all of us how to live to the fullest.
On this day and on many other days, may K romp with her rascally "brother" R and her beloved humans in the outdoor wilderness they all love.
Sending along hugs to KB who must make the decisions and handle the stress of K's illness.
As dusk wraps the landscape in blues and ties it with a flourish of pink, we walk down the ski trail into town. We're meeting friends for dinner. A ski lift climbs toward the pale glow in the western sky. We quickly cross the divide between day and night. Luckily, we've brought our own source of light.