Every conquering temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before. William Butler Yeats
At seven o’clock on this Saturday morning fog envelopes my drive to the park. This was to be the morning that I rose early and was the on-time member of our group. After all, I was the one who organized this weekly hike for the past 4 years. But I got distracted and only Comet’s paw on my arm refocused me to get leashes and start for the car.
It is a more substantial “June gloom” today than I would have expected for a late August weekend. It is a welcome cool, particularly as the weathermen mentioned in passing the “excessive heat warnings” for Southern California this weekend. But I can excuse them being more focused on the newsworthy draw of a strong hurricane battering the Texas Gulf Coast. Since my dogs accompany me every Saturday, I am more attune to keeping them out of the heat by getting an early start.
I have never been accused of diligent training when it comes to the dogs, but I have tried this year to be very consistent. And today was a first for Comet. He got into the back of the Ford, our (my spouse’s preferred) “dog-car”, and did not try to get into the front seat as he has tried for many months and been gently corrected. Today, he patiently waited to get out waiting at the rear door instead of hopping into the driver seat. For which I lavished praise on him – and on Dexter who is a creature of habit.
Once at the park, I am next to last of our walkers to arrive but at 7:15, the men are still patting each other on the back for being present. I still chuckle that the dogs are excited each week to greet the dog-people in our little band of prayer-walkers, yet only offer a passing “hello” to one they recognize is more reserved around animals. Not that it is a slight toward the man, whom I know to be more welcoming and spiritually-attuned than me, yet confirms for me that dogs have that innate sense about dog-people.
A walk with my friends, and raising our voices to our Almighty, encourages us greatly. Reflections on answered prayers, those yet to be answered and hopes for our kin and neighbors are times that we need particularly now.
An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. Henry David Thoreau