We aren’t even half way to the entrance before Nora races way ahead into the trail without me.
She’s been doing this for about a week now. The whole flow of our time out here together has changed. It feels like that alpha thing of needing to be in front or on top or first at all times. The quiet time in the woods higher up on the trail where we are easily alone just the two of us doesn’t seem like enough anymore. She will stay in sight for the most part but I can feel her drive to keep moving forward, as if there is something precious and important to get to. I’ve also noticed recently that I lose her again as we approach the place signaling descent back into the path where encounters with other dogs with their humans typically happen. She just can’t wait to connect.
It rained hard last night and the invigorating sound of rushing water in the brook greets us. This too signals a feeling of change after what seems like weeks of dry ground and barely discernable flow. I don’t want to leave the sound of it, and make the decision to loop the trail here at this level and forgo our usual climb. I think, let’s let today be about connecting with the others first. I walk slowly and watch Nora continue to forge ahead. We are so in tune now with the nuances of where the trails diverge that all I have to do is yell out “this way” and she changes the trajectory of her movement without hesitating. She is still out front and first to encounter whatever is there. Like the cornfields that we usually just bypass altogether, today she leads us further around the edges to see what is there.
And find harvest in the first of the beautiful early morning light.
Now I can’t help but notice alpha everywhere, such as in the drive of this particular root to connect to it’s beloved earth by just growing right over the obstacle of the rock to get there!
I’m intrigued with this alpha, being first, energy. It is such a mirror after all. Firstborn. First to make mistakes. First to finish. First to get to the promised place. First to experience what is new and different and wonderful. I suppose it is what drives a obsessive need to be creative, to see things differently, to make something be a first each time. Like the peach salsa last night. I knew I wanted to make it when I bought the large box of fresh locally grown peaches a few days ago. It wasn’t until finally getting a red onion that I was ready to assemble something. Combining small chunks of three peaches, finely minced red onion, an avocado and a small fresh tomatoes diced, a handful of fresh minced parsley, a splash of olive oil and the juice of a lime made enough deliciousness for several meals.
And a small leftover jarful waiting in the fridge. I’m already anticipating getting home and having it for breakfast. Pairing it with an omelette of some kind. This would be a first.
It is a fun morning on the trail meeting up with so many of the usuals. Nora is known as the enthusiastically sweet puppy to most, and though not all her canine friends out today want to play with the same vigor, the connections are still made, banter and fun still had. Us humans out here know that this kind of connection for the dogs holds tenfold value for the stimulation provided and energy expended. Nora leads me to each new encounter and I too feel the value of sharing this time and space with kindred spirits.
I arrive home so hungry! Today is a day for a serious breakfast. I can’t stop thinking about the significance of the omelette scene in the movie, ‘A Hundred Yard Journey’ seen the other night and decide to enter this space. It is a gorgeous scene that offers the sensuousness of making and experiencing something new for the first time. Crack two eggs into a bowl and languidly but firmly whisk them until completely smooth. Add a pinch of cayenne and a pinch of Spanish Pimenton Vera, a grating of fresh black pepper, a small handful of finely minced lemon balm picked fresh from the garden, a quick pour of fresh heavy cream.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat and pour in the egg mixture. Gently peel back the edges as it cooks and tilt the pan to allow the liquid on top to find the hot exposed surface. Watch for the moment when all is firm enough to flip with a spatula, cook for just a moment on the other side and then turn off the heat. Fold and let onto the plate waiting with a mound of chilled peach salsa.
It is all so exotic and new, this meal. Each bite is an alpha bite that offers a different first taste each time. Each bite is a revelation of some aspect of being connected right here right now that feels good.
I eventually come back to thinking about Nora and her alpha ways, appreciating her determined pioneering spirit, grateful for her leading me here today…