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Travels With Maggie: Where the Wonders Never End

The Autumn Leaves

The falling leaves drift by the window

The autumn leaves of red and gold”

Weird what we remember. As a young teen I took organ lessons, and “Autumn Leaves” was a song I played often at recitals. I have been humming that song now for weeks while on these walks with Maggie. I hope you don’t mind if I keep on humming while we walk today. It just seems fitting that I do.

Thanks for joining us today. Maggie has raced ahead of us, so we best pick up the pace and catch up with my girl. Toby stayed at home today. He’s still a bit too aggressive with the chickens, so he’s banished from the farm until I have the time to work with him on his manners.

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A Beautiful Song

“Autumn Leaves” is a beautiful song, for sure, but also a very sad one. The guy has lost his lover. Either she flew the coop, or died, but you can feel his loss through his words:

“Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I'll hear
Old winter's song”

Beauty in sadness . . . sadness in beauty . . . we all understand, don’t we? I do for sure. The beautiful colors of last week are now gone, replaced by grays and browns, a stark blanket covering the landscape, and at times becoming one with the landscape, where does the sky begin, the landscape end, one and the same when the mist lowers and the air’s dampness infiltrates clothing and infiltrates the mood of those braving a walk along a country road.

There is no sadness in Maggie. Her world consists of Bev and I, her humans, really her reason for living, to please us, to receive love from us, and that’s a heavy responsibility on any human, but I’m up for it, so I hear beauty in that song today, no sadness, me rambling on here, no grammar rules weighing me down.

Racing up Ahead

Something has Maggie’s attention as she sprints ahead, aimed at one particular spot in the woods, nothing I can see but certainly Maggie can, she reaches the spot and stops, the barking commences, no tail-wagging occurring, little signs easily spotted, signs which tell us friend or foe, me trusting my girl to get it right the first time and every time, her intuition and my intuition in lockstep always.

I never do find out what it was. It’s gone by the time I get there, and after a minute Maggie loses interest and trots off to explore other nooks and crannies of her own personal “hundred acre woods,” a shout out to Pooh and Christopher Robin, a book coming to mind from ten years back, The Tao of Pooh, Maggie and I highly recommend it.

The words of Pooh:

“To know the Way,
We go the Way;
We do the Way
The way we do
The things we do.
It’s all there in front of you,
But if you try too hard to see it,
You’ll only become Confused.”

You can’t try too hard on these walks. Truth arrives when the mind empties and we simply become a part of this mini-universe. That may well be the greatest gift Maggie has given to me, the ability to simply be. There are no expectations on these walks. There are no demands. I must meet no standards, must follow no rules . . . I simply must be.

My level of awareness rises dramatically on these walks. My mind is empty of outside influences. I am able to “see” with much clearer vision, and that is a priceless gift I wish for all of you. You all have that place, where the pavement ends and the wonder begins, and the longer you spend in that place, the more you will experience what I experience on these walks.

Or so it seems to me, but then what do I know? I’m just a bear with little brain. Lol

travels-with-maggie-where-the-wonders-never-end

The Rain Stops and . . .

The mist rises, but still there are no colors . . . or are there? Pay attention and the different hues present themselves. Brown is, after all, a color, and the browns mix with the evergreens mix with the gray mix with the drab yellows, losing their luster, but then the sun breaks through and magically new colors appear, and how does that happen, a trick of the mind, or just Mother Nature weaving a spell of magic over the land? The less I think on it, the more magical it becomes, as though my mind has the power to drain the mystical from life, and me thinking perhaps I should just stop thinking and enjoy it all, like my girl, Maggie, not much thought process happening with her as she splashes through a puddle and chases a wayward leaf blowin’ in the wind.

“Bill, stop your daydreaming now, and get back to your assignment,” Sister Mary Catherine always cracking the whip, looking to maximize my potential in 5th Grade, and I smile at the memory, the fallacy in it, for daydreaming is all about potential, is it not, and why would anyone ever want to minimize the wonder of daydreams? Of course I didn’t say those words to Sister Mary Catherine, not while she was holding that yardstick, deadly with her aim to the top of my young hand, like a whip or a cobra, quick-like, and hurt like holy hell, pun intended.

The Area Has a Thousand Eyes

We are being watched. Of that I have no doubt. Coyotes are prowling as we walk, their numbers increasing in this area as their habitat shrinks. Same with the possums, raccoons, weasels, deer . . . we’ve even had three cougar sightings in these parts in the last month, and let’s not forget the black bear . . . all are out there as we walk, a bit disconcerting to be sure, predators galore, big and small, one-hundred feet, maybe one-fifty, between sharp teeth and claws, them probably thinking the same thing, all of us walking a tightrope, civilization and the wild, a truce of sorts, for today. Maggie knows they are there, I can see it in her mannerisms, always aware, but somehow also aware of danger or non-danger, some inherent sense, a sense I do not have. So trust is the name of that game, some basic communication passing among us all, safe passage, no ill will, and we’ll catch you down the road.

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The Work Crews Continue

The finishing touches being done on the two new homes along our walk. The work crews shout out Maggie’s name, they all know her now, I suspect a piece of jerky is occasionally offered in greeting, and my girl wags her tail and barks in response, runs to one of them, sniffs his hand, and returns to me, her safety, her human, and I feel that responsibility and I cherish it. The truck is up ahead, where the wonder ends and the pavement begins, and our walk is coming to an end, sad to say.

We make one quick detour down to the farm, check on the chickens, make sure they have food, and Maggie herds the guinea fowl away so they don’t steal the food, never trust a guinea fowl, my advice for all of you today, and Maggie concurs. Not once in two-and-a-half years have I seen Maggie hurt a guinea fowl, but somehow, some way, they know she means business when she goes into her crouch and slowly walks in their direction. It’s pretty cool to see, this ballet of nature, available to anyone with eyes and a heart.

I don’t have much in the way of possessions, mostly secondhand stuff, not worth a hoot and a holler. What I do have, though, are not possessions and yet are priceless in value. I am surrounded by love. I have a dog who adores me, a wife who is my steadfast partner, and friends from around the world. I have peace of mind, good health, and love in my heart. What do you think of all that, Sister Mary Catherine? Not bad for a daydreamer, eh?

I am a rich man!

If you feel like joining us on one of these walks, you are always welcome. Just about daily you can find us where the pavement ends and the wonder begins, just a man and his dog, walking down a country road.

Until next time!

And wishing you all a Loving Thanksgiving!

Bill

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 04, 2020:

Happy New Year, Lawrence. If you are late for the walk, I'm later for the comment. I'm sorry about the delay...sick wife!

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on January 02, 2020:

Bill

Little late to the walk, but it was worth it, thank you.

It seems to me that you've got all the things that are really important, and I'm sure Sister Mary Catherine is looking down and smiling on you. She's pleased you took her lessons on board, of that I'm sure.

Blessings for the new year.

Lawrence

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 15, 2019:

Thank you Genna! It's so nice to hear from you. I hope you are well in Massachusetts this December morn. May the holidays bring bountiful blessings to you.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on December 14, 2019:

"Truth arrives when the mind empties and we simply become a part of this mini-universe." Thank you for sharing that gift, Bill. And thanks for the beautiful rendition of Autumn Leaves by Cole; it harmonizes with this wonderful walk with Maggie so well. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. :-)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 09, 2019:

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Crezyl! Thank you!

Crezyl from Philippines on December 09, 2019:

Good piece. My pleasure to read it❤❤

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 07, 2019:

I'm happy you joined us, Liz. Thank you!

Liz Westwood from UK on December 06, 2019:

Having walked a dog through wet leaves yesterday I can visualise your autumnal dog walks and the changing scenes of the seasons.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 03, 2019:

I have learned much from you, Dora, and I mean that honestly. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 03, 2019:

PS, thank you dear friend. I may not be famous, but I have some great writer friends, like you, from around the world, and that makes me a rich man I figure.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 03, 2019:

Between you and Maggie, you help us appreciate the power of connectedness and the joy of sharing the beauty of nature. Always a good read!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 02, 2019:

What a gift from Maggie....teaching you to 'just be.' What a lovely life we will all live if we subscribe to that mantra of hers. Every walk I go on with you fills a spot within that needed filling...thank you for your insightful writing (which does not really adequately describe it). The walks bring a calm to my life. Once again, many Angels are headed your way bringing hugs and love and blessings to each of you in the Holland household ps

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 02, 2019:

Thank you Sha! I hope yours was wonderful as well. Yep, rain or shine, we are out there daily walking. Last February we got 18 inches of snow in one weekend...that's the only time Maggie and I didn't go for a walk. :)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 02, 2019:

I loved this walk and all the allusions to memories it invoked in you, Bill. Adding photos of some of the critters with "a thousand eyes" brought the walk to life, without having to close my eyes.

Will you and Maggie continue your daily walks when Old Man Winter takes grasp?

I hope you and Bev had a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend. Until next time....

Sha

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 02, 2019:

Pooh is timeless, Denise, as you well know. Maybe one day my writings will be timeless. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 02, 2019:

And we appreciate you joining us, Manatita. Thank you my friend.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on December 01, 2019:

What a lovely peaceful walk in the cool crisp air. I love the Pooh reference to your "hundred-acre wood".

Blessings,

Denise

manatita44 from london on December 01, 2019:

Awww! ...

So sweet of you! I've joined you too, Bro. I've joined you too. Happy Sunday evening to all.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 01, 2019:

Manatita, I am quite certain you have visited that place where the pavement ends and the wonder begins. I have joined you there through your writings, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 01, 2019:

Thank you Sara! I greatly appreciate it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 01, 2019:

For me, Mary, it is crucial for my happiness and peace of mind. I wish the same for you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 01, 2019:

Thank you Nithya! I think the dear Sister dropped the ball in that case. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 01, 2019:

I love your take on it, Flourish! Thank you my friend.

manatita44 from london on November 30, 2019:

I'd like to walk with you Bro, in this place that have a thousand eyes and fauns and birds create enchantment like magic … and the rose-tinted leaves of Autumn sing sweet lullabies that calm my Spirit.

With Nat King Cole invoking their lustre, I too, would love to see their lips on long weary days.

Come! Come, sweet Maggie, guide me to this journey of solace and bliss.

Sara Sarwar Riaz from Michigan, USA on November 30, 2019:

What an interesting concept, and wonderful descriptions of everyday encounters with nature.

Only a writer would know how to create such an animated description, of a man’s walk down the lane with his companion :)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 30, 2019:

I wish I can join you where the pavement ends and the wonder begins. Just be. Such an important lesson to do during the day. Such love, wisdom and wealth. What more can you really ask for?

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on November 30, 2019:

Enjoyed your musings and the walk surrounded by nature's beauty in fall. Sister Mary Catherine did not know the value of her student.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 29, 2019:

Fall is my favorite season. I see it as shedding the old so that renewal can later take place. Your walks with Maggie are lovely.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 29, 2019:

Thank you for joining us, Brenda. You are always welcome.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 29, 2019:

I hope to too, Linda! Toby just has to learn his manners.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 29, 2019:

I like that, Nikki...freedom is when no fuss it....beautiful!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 29, 2019:

Interesting, Meg. I had never thought about the possibility of daydreaming actually going away.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 28, 2019:

I love that saying where the pavement ends and the wonder begins...awesome.

I enjoyed takiing this stroll with you today.

Thank Maggie for the adventures.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 28, 2019:

Walking with a dog can be a lovely activity. Maggie sounds like a great companion. I hope Toby is soon able to join you.

Nikki Khan from London on November 28, 2019:

Thanks, Bill for riding us on those exceptional walks through the woods, my favorite. I like the spirit of being immune to all the limitations. Freedom is when no fuss is.

Blessings to you and Maggie.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on November 28, 2019:

Bill, I understand that daydreaming reduces as you get older. I don't mean thinking silently about the beauty around you but the ability to "be" somewhere else entirely. Maybe 30 years ago, if I could not sleep, I created another fantasy world and had adventures there. Now, it's hard to get back into that world. Maybe some people never lose it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

I believe I am, Sean. Thank you always, and blessings and love to you on our Thanksgiving Day.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

It was not always so, Li-Jen, but it is today...rich in heart, that is...thank you my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

I really appreciate that, Graham! Wishing you good health and happiness on this Thanksgiving day. I am thankful for your friendship.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

Thank you Clive! Happy Thanksgiving!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

Sometimes not so subtle, John lol....and I thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

A good choice of renditions, Heidi. Thanks for the reminder, and Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

Thank you Shyron! Good to hear from you, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

I am a fortunate man, Peggy. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

Thank you Bill, and Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

Some not so good, but we survived,Ruby, and that's all that matters. Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

I am a rich man, Lora! Thank you so much, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

Thank you so much, Ann!

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2019:

Odd that you would lose it, Meg. I wonder why?

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on November 28, 2019:

So much wisdom in your hub, my dear brother! So much wisdom in a children's book! The wisdom of simply be! The world needs to remember. Thank you for your amusing reminders! You truly are a rich man, my friend!

Much Love to you all!

Sean

Li-Jen Hew on November 28, 2019:

Hi Bill. Yeah, Maggie simply be. That's hard to imagine. You are in tune with Maggie and managed to express that well in your article! Good of you to set an example to us all. To be rich in heart! Thanks for sharing!

Graham Lee. on November 28, 2019:

Always the very best from you Bill. A stroll through life its self. Brilliant.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on November 27, 2019:

Richness begins in the heart. Not in the pocket. Good one Bill

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 27, 2019:

The description of your walk with Maggie evokes such a feeling of peace and calmness, Bill. It is always a pleasure to read, and packed with subtle life lessons.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on November 27, 2019:

Fall is the best time for walking the pups here, too. The weather is perfect.

I also remember Autumn Leaves from back in the day. For me, the rendition I remember most was Roger Williams' piano version. My dad was a pro musician and pianist, so that figures.

Happy Fall, Happy Thanksgiving!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on November 27, 2019:

From one daydreamer to another, have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Shyron

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 27, 2019:

Great walk today, Bill. Wishing you and Bev a Happy Thanksgiving. You are fortunate to have the love and companionship of Maggie on your walks.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on November 27, 2019:

Love these walks, Bill. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on November 27, 2019:

Bill, go on daydreaming and we will go with you down that trail of wonders. Reading about your memory in school brought a memory of my teacher hitting my hands with a ruler. I don't remember what I'd done, but I remember feeling ashamed. Oh, the good ole days...

Lora Hollings on November 27, 2019:

Love your inspiring walk with Maggie, today, Bill! Yes, where the pavement ends and the magic begins in a walk filled with daydreams and deep thoughts! Your writing certainly reflects the beauty of these moments. Beauty and sadness do seem to be intertwined as life is so transient. It seems like a dream often times. And you certainly capture this beauty in your writing. Loved this piece and I agree with you- sometimes we just analyze too much and we need to be more like our doggy friends who have learned to just enjoy the moment and there's much wisdom in that! You are, indeed, a rich man. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Ann Carr from SW England on November 27, 2019:

What a lovely thing to say! The feeling is mutual, bill.

Ann

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on November 27, 2019:

Daydreaming! I was able to do that right up to my forties. Colleagues would sometimes wave their hands in front of my face because the long stare showed I was not present in this world. Unfortunately, I no longer seem to daydream, I may have lost that.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

Thanks for joining us, Pamela, and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

For sure, Eric!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

And my love to you, Linda! Thank you dear friend, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and that lovely family of yours.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

I've seen that version, Lori, and it is haunting for sure.

Thank you my friend, and Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 27, 2019:

The video of Washington was beautiful, and I know your walks throughout the year show you so much in every season. It is good to appreciate nature as you walk and Maggie is joyful as she explores.

This sounded like a wonderful walk for autumn that has come and almost gone. Enjoy Thanksgiving and the season my friend.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 27, 2019:

Whahoo!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on November 27, 2019:

The love of a dog and the majesty and magic waiting to be discovered in the Hundred Acre Woods. Bill, you are a rich man indeed. My love to you and Bev. Happy Thanksgiving friend.

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on November 27, 2019:

"Beauty in sadness . . . sadness in beauty . . . we all understand, don’t we?"

Yes, I do and that song (one of my favorites) is such an example. I love Eva Cassidy's version (you can see it on Youtube). This was just lovely.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

You had me laughing, Becky! That sounds exhausting to me, too, but still fun. Here's hoping you have many more exhausting trips to the park with that little mophead. :) Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

Thank you, Kari, and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on November 27, 2019:

You had a lovely walk, while I was at the park with my grandson. He will turn four next month, and he requires a lot of help at the playground. Today I am sore from pushing swings and pushing that stupid thing that spins around and makes him giggle and get dizzy. I guess I am going to have to take him more often, so I don't get sore. Chasing him around the playground is exhausting. Such a lovely child with his mop head of curls and constant smiles. I left the dog home for this trip. She is too small to weather the playground, she goes when we just go to walk at the park.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 27, 2019:

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Bill. And, thanks for the walk.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

Maggie say howdy, Susan! She's wagging her tail right now, a good sign for sure. :) Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

We could hook up for a duet, Eric, you on the clarinet and me on the organ. Probably be a best-seller. :) Happy Thanksgiving, buddy! Have fun on the beach.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

I'm glad you had the time to join us, Devika. You are welcome any time.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2019:

Ann, one thing I trust in is your friendship, and that gives me comfort. Thank you, my friend. You are an original and I'm very happy having you in my life.

bill

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on November 27, 2019:

Thanks, Bill and Maggie for letting me join you on your walk today. I enjoyed reading about your memories Bill and it's always a joy to read about Maggie.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 27, 2019:

How strange. I am working on this song with my clarinet. Failing miserably. But maybe that is the good thing. So Maggie and I keep trying.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 27, 2019:

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Bev! I enjoyed reading about our awesome adventures with Maggie. Nature is beautiful and has lots to offer on your walks.

Ann Carr from SW England on November 27, 2019:

What a great string of thoughts for Thanksgiving, bill!

The wonders certainly never end. Today you've covered several of my favourite things - the colours of Autumn, 'Autumn Leaves', Nat King Cole, Winnie-the-Pooh (I was brought up with him) and Mother Nature's music.

Above all that there is trust. If we don't love and we don't trust, then we're lost in loneliness and fear. No thanks!

Wishing you a heart-warming Thanksgiving full of love and trust.

Ann