-Peter Seeger/ Mary Travers
Most mornings when I wake, before my eyes are open, there are puppies in my head. You know, the playful "me! me! no me!" ideas that arrive first thing. They bang into each other, chase each others tails and fight over me. This a.m. the list was - ceiling color for the new restaurant in Warren I'm working on, the window drafts in the studio, leaf raking, article for Yankee, and a package for my daughter in Sweden. Fast pups. That was the first 25 seconds. Paul's so good at slowly hatching in the am. I'm almost done with my day by 11:30 he's finally ready to start. So noon is a good time for us to walk, which we did yesterday in Destruction Brook Woods in Dartmouth. A protected reserve with well maintained color coded trails, some of which are named. My favorite being Happy Valley. Taking a walk there makes your life feel like a folk song for 45 minutes. I'm Happy Valley bound... Apparently there's a good cross section of the population here that want life to resemble Peter Paul and Mary. On one visit it's normal to see a middle aged jogger, a pack of urban boys with big low slung pants, 2 women on horseback, a family with 2 dogs and a couple in the their 80's decked out in orange hunting vests, for protection, not sport. Guess we all need it. The stopping and looking thing. Listening. Putting the puppies away. We found splashes of gold yesterday. They made us stop, really stop and look, leaving puppies way behind. The few remaining leafs were glowing lanterns in the bare trees. And the sunlight hitting treetops reflected in the streams were stained glass windows splashed on the ground. I always leave the paths thinking, oh yeah, right, this is vital to do every day. Getting outside. My chickens make me do it. Putting on the boots, filling the pail with fresh water, opening the coop door, smelling manure muffled by pine shavings, noticing the sky, stopping, really stopping, and feeling the warmth of the miracle egg in my hand. I got it. Happy Valley in my backyard.