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 “Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. . But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.” Frank Herbert.

Travels With Maggie

Sun and rain in the same frame. Lake Walcott State Park, August, 2011 -- Photo by Pat Bean

Going for our morning and afternoon walks here at Lake Walcott is a pleasurable experience for both Maggie and me. But for different reasons, of course.

Maggie uses her nose to follow the track of the raccoon that visited our camp site in the early hours of the morning. She slowly checks out the tree on which the male springer spaniel in the camp across the way lifted his leg. Then she spends 10 minutes circling a small area trying to decide the exact spot to do her own business.

Her entire small body wags with her tail in joy when she spies a human who looks like they might greet her. You can actually see the dejection in her body if that person passes by without snooping down to pet her.

I’ve never quite figured out why this is so important to her, because most always after about 15 seconds of a stranger’s adulation she’s pulling on the leash for me to continue our walk.

But then she probably doesn’t understand why I want to stop and watch every bird I see, photograph every butterfly buzzing around a flower or spend time each day simply staring out over the lake to gauge its mood.

I was doing just that a couple of days ago when I realized nature was presenting me with a triple matinée.

To the south, on the far side of the lake, a dark storm cloud was dumping rain on the landscape. To the north, the summer sky was bright blue with sunlight shimmering through white puffy clouds. Beneath my feet, meanwhile, the rocky shoreline was framed by a bush telling me fall had arrived.

But looking down instead of across the water, I found fall coming into bloom. -- Photo by Pat Bean

From a single spot, I was being presented with three stories, each in conflict with the other. Since I couldn’t deny reality, I had to believe them all.

Thus it is with life and people. There are many realities, and just because we believe one doesn’t mean the others aren’t true. Mother nature’s triple feature left me pondering over this for the rest of the afternoon.

It’s often what happens when I take myself into her realm.

Or listen to Bob Marley: “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!”

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