A few weeks ago, Prissy and I drove “out home” to see the canyons and to allow this woman from lma a few minutes to collect a little sanity in order to keep going for a while longer. That peace and quiet there can be found no place else for me and is most necessary to experience whenever possible. Just looking into those canyons and listening to the echoes releases the building tension and relaxes the muddled mind.
Prissy, the big black lab, had been there once before and was eager to get her feet on the ground. I always stop first at the site of Ima and wander to the edge of the canyon to look across at the remains of that home we so enjoyed. Prissy was using all her strength to drag me around and to keep me from being steady enough to take any pictures. She dislocated my shoulder one time too often and needed to pause for a short speech.
As I took her by the collar, I told her she could now have her choice. She could either find a new home or stay with me. I then took off her leash. She made a quick decision when she darted forth and found she was free. She stopped, turned, and came right back to me to see what had happened. She then did a little exploring on her own, but never got more than a few feet away.
Unfortunately, she learned the hard way that some pain often accompanies freedom. Because I had kept her away from cactus, she hadn’t experienced the problems one has when not knowing what a cactus can do. I had looked away for just a second, and she ran smack into a cholla, getting a large chunk stuck to her foot. Well, we worked on that for a while before returning to the car. I watched more carefully in order to warn her when we did further wandering at our second destination. She paid fairly close attention when I recommended that she stop and return to me so she wouldn’t cause either of us further pain. Of course, I will keep her on the leash when the rattle snakes are slithering around those canyons.
After roaming and remembering for a while, I decided we might as well return to the car to eat a snack and to rest a minute before returning to town. Prissy was ready for the security of the car and a long, cool drink of water. She then fell over in the back seat and slept most of our return trip. She was one tired lab that evening. While she rested, I enjoyed recalling the day’s events and feeling more relaxed than I had since the last time we were out there.
Being a part of the land is a rare privilege. Although I may not own that land, it will always own me.