It’s a color that has come into view a lot this past week. Even in the uncharacteristic selfie I took out in the woods,
wearing my full woodland walking getup, blue jeans, the linen shirt, pink meets papaya, and socks all sprayed to protect me from ticks, and the most recent addition, a hat, also sprayed with the natural Buzz Away I use on my exposed skin to keep the dive bombing flies from mercilessly circling.
The shirt dates me. I let Nora off the leash for the first time in July of 2014. She taught me in short order that day that the woods is where we were to be together in strength. And so began our daily walks, always wearing this shirt. It became, and has remained, my hiking in the woods shirt. All have to do is pull it down off the rack and Nora knows. Two years strong, this beautiful papaya pink colored shirt has become the star of my uniform.
It’s a perfect color. The color of July and hot summer days. It is a good color on my skin. A color that feels good inside and out. I see it in a lone zinnia in my garden,
In the froth of fresh juice made from carrots, beets, cucumbers, apples and ginger.
It’s even been in the sky at night, the heat of summer finding the underbelly of clouds.
It had been a few days since I was able to get out for the usual 2-3 mile walk with Nora. I had been irritable, restless and completely out of sync with what was in front of me. Like magic, just one mile in, I felt the balm enter, clarity restored, a stream of inspiration approaching. It’s been two years of coming to know this way of solitude and communion that leaves me restored and rejuvenated every time. My mother had just sent me a blog post of a woman who was sharing about her rescue dog who sounds so much like Nora, and the joy of creating context for that being to find purpose in running fast, to do what this particular dog was ‘built’ for. And where Nora can also run like the wind, I began to wonder what her real purpose might be. Yes, I rescued her. She was clearly traumatized as a puppy and is so very sensitive to touch, in a way that has triggered a depth of empathy in me that was ready to be experienced. I cycle with her in neediness and the distress that comes with wanting to commune with other living creatures, wanting to touch and be touched so much, only to be able to tolerate so little. Then cycle back around to the pure puppy joy that is there when she comes at my call, eager to please and be pleased.
Yes, I have given her structure and love and as much understanding as this human can muster. But it is she who has brought me into a way of coming into inspiration that seems to manifest most clearly when I am moving in collaboration with earth and wind and water. She has actually rescued me.
The beginning of a new quilt came into view as I walked. Back inside, I went into my fabric stash and pulled every piece I could see that contains the essence of this color