Travels With Maggie: Where the Wonders Never End

Updated on November 27, 2019

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.

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

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.

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)

Questions & Answers

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      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 days ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • Crezyl Sabrido profile image

        Crezyl Joy Villa Sabrido 

        5 days ago from Philippines

        Good piece. My pleasure to read it❤❤

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        7 days ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        7 days ago from UK

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        11 days ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        11 days ago from Olympia, WA

        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.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        11 days ago from The Caribbean

        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!

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        11 days ago from North Central Florida

        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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        12 days ago from Olympia, WA

        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. :)

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        12 days ago from Central Florida

        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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        12 days ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        12 days ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • PAINTDRIPS profile image

        Denise McGill 

        12 days ago from Fresno CA

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

        Blessings,

        Denise

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        13 days ago from london

        Awww! ...

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        13 days ago from Olympia, WA

        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.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        13 days ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Sara! I greatly appreciate it.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        13 days ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        13 days ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        13 days ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        13 days ago from london

        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 profile image

        Sara Sarwar Riaz 

        2 weeks ago from Michigan, USA

        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 :)

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

        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?

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        2 weeks ago from Dubai

        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 profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        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.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • Brenda Arledge profile image

        BRENDA ARLEDGE 

        2 weeks ago from Washington Court House

        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.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

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

      • nikkikhan10 profile image

        Nikki Khan 

        2 weeks ago from London

        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 profile image

        DreamerMeg 

        2 weeks ago from Northern Ireland

        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.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Clive! Happy Thanksgiving!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Bill, and Happy Thanksgiving to you.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you so much, Ann!

        bill

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        2 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

        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 profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        2 weeks ago

        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!

      • profile image

        Graham Lee. 

        2 weeks ago

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

      • clivewilliams profile image

        Clive Williams 

        2 weeks ago from Jamaica

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

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        2 weeks ago from Chicago Area

        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 profile image

        Shyron E Shenko 

        2 weeks ago from Texas

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

        Shyron

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        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.

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 

        2 weeks ago from Massachusetts

        Love these walks, Bill. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        2 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

        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 profile image

        Lora Hollings 

        2 weeks ago

        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!

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        2 weeks ago from SW England

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

        Ann

      • DreamerMeg profile image

        DreamerMeg 

        2 weeks ago from Northern Ireland

        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.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        For sure, Eric!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

        Thank you my friend, and Happy Thanksgiving to you.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        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.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Whahoo!

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        2 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

        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.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        2 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

        "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.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        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!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • Becky Katz profile image

        Becky Katz 

        2 weeks ago from Hereford, AZ

        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.

      • k@ri profile image

        Kari Poulsen 

        2 weeks ago from Ohio

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        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.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        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

      • Just Ask Susan profile image

        Susan Zutautas 

        2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

        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.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        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.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        2 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        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.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        2 weeks ago from SW England

        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

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