Thursday, 14 February 2013

Under the night sky

I love my beautiful Doggie to bits but boy has he been driving me crazy this past week. A lady doggie in the local area must, I suspect, be on heat as he has been obsessively racing to the exact same place every time on our walks, going round and round (and round) frantically sniffing the grass when we get there, and whining and pestering whenever we’re back in the house between walks. Believe me, it gets old fast.

But I forgive him everything for tonight’s walk.

We began as usual by zipping to the well-visited spot and giving it a brisk but thorough sniffing, same as the last twenty or so walks, but then, as if Doggie knew that I needed a change, we abruptly left the obsession spot and made a beeline to a playing field half a mile away that we hadn’t visited for ages. (I might hold the lead but Doggie decides where we go on our walks... I’m cool with that, apart from when he goes through obsessional phases). Up the hill we zoomed (Doggie is really spritely for his age), through the dim, grimy streets of terraced houses (I’m not trying to be Dickensian: they really are grimy); I knew just where we were headed way before we got there. (Don’t dogs have amazing senses of direction, by the way?)

I had never been to the playing field after sunset before and as a lone woman, even with my brave Doggie to protect me, I was a little apprehensive about walking round such a place at night once we reached the gate and I saw that it was completely unlit. But in we went all the same and my fears were soon allayed as we were the only ones there.

I have been in a rather reflective mood of late, downbeat really: the cares of everyday life have been weighing on me and I do have a tendency to get down on myself and internalise everything (and let other people know about it... sorry to those folks).

But this particular evening, being in this calm, quiet, nature-filled space, I felt a sudden and much-needed ease, as if a weight had been taken off my shoulders, or as if I myself had been lifted up. I felt as if I had space and time to think.

And then I looked up at the sky. It was a breathtaking panorama, a colossal vision that spoke to my heart and cheered it. That it was being viewed from an unremarkable, muddy little spot only seemed to make it more profound, not less. There were clouds, but they were light, like silver, and they seemed, I don’t know, luminescent, not oppressive at all, and there was an equal amount of clear dark sky full of stars, and the two elements of star-dotted sky and peaceful white cloud seemed to combine magically, as if by perfect design. The sky seemed like the earth viewed from space; a mirror of the continents and oceans and all the beauty of nature. And I thought of the countless people under that same sky. The sight reminded me that there is a whole world beyond my own concerns; a world of hopes, and thoughts, and love, and beauty.

And then Doggie took me straight home, and I wrote this. (After giving him a treat).


  1. I think Doggie deserved a treat for giving you that view and helping lift your mood a little.

  2. Lifting it a lot, Aunty - I think I need a reminder on perspective every now and again and this helped give me one and gave transcendent form to various thoughts I have been wrestling with of late. There's really something to be said for the sublime.

    I actually gave Doggie two treats ;)

  3. Penelope,

    Wow. Coincidence, I think not. Dogs are very perceptive. I am glad Doggie was able to lift your spirits.


  4. Thanks, Joey. And thanks for being a good listener. xxx

  5. That's a beautiful post, Penny! You have a very clever dog. :-)

  6. Thanks, Kaelah :) I just tried to write it as I saw and felt it. The real thing was better than I can convey.

    I'll pass your compliment onto Doggie - he is a clever little chap, I agree!

  7. Aww, that's what Doggie's are for. I'm glad you have him and had that beautiful moment. And I hope he's a big protective doggy when you're out and about.

  8. He is very protective, yes :) and he's the bravest thing there ever was. I'd like to have one tenth of his courage.

    I just wish he had somewhere better to live and walk round. Would you believe that, on one of the first walks he and I went on after I inherited him, we were the victims of a drive-by stoning? A car full of young men stopped in the road beside us and suddenly big stones began flying at us. One missed Doggie's head by an inch. I turned and shielded him and was struck on the back a couple of times but I didn't care.