Saturday, November 27, 2010

Early Morning Walks

Early Morning walks
 Every moment, think steadily - - as a Roman and as a human being - - to do what you have in hand with perfect and simple dignity and feelings of affection and freedom and justice; and give yourself relief from all other thoughts. And you will give yourself relief by laying aside all carelessness, and hypocrisy, and conceit, and discontent with the portion that has been given to you. And so, performing every action as if it were your last, you will see how few the things are, which if a person lays hold of them, their life flows on in quiet, and is like the existence of the gods.
          ~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus~
I think Marcus Aurelius was trying to tell us do whatever you are passionate about and as long as you carry yourself with dignity and take care of the important things in life; everything else will fall in place. In other words enjoy the simple pleasures in life and don’t sweat the small stuff.
I always have been an early riser because I enjoy the quiet of the early morning and I am privileged to see some of the most spectacular crimsoned sunrises. I get up every day at 4:30 A.M. and dress right away. I am not one to lounge in bed. After I’m dressed I’ll go downstairs and my first task is to get the espresso pot going for a strong jolt of caffeine. This morning while I sat enjoying my coffee the quiet of the early morning house was interrupted by a chorus of snoring coming from the den. The two beagles Bella and Blue were poised in the shape of a prefect Yin and Yang pose on the recliner, while Molly our Yellow lab lay sprawled out on the couch, all three were sound asleep.

 I returned to the kitchen and poured some coffee into a thermos and grabbed a granola bar. I also filled my pocket with some cookies for the dogs. I sat on the steps that lead to the den and started to put on my boots. Molly took some interest in this because she knows this means that we are about to go for our morning walk.
One of the small pleasures I enjoy is my early morning walks through the woodland and pastures around the farm with the dogs.  The walk gives me the exercise I need to get the blood flowing and the fresh air provides the oxygen to wake my brain up, so I can start the day with a clear head.

The beagles are all business. As soon as they are out the door, their heads go down and their tails point straight up as the sniff around for the scent of some woodland creature that trekked through the yard surrounding the house. They emit a high pitch yelping as they sniff the ground for the slightest scent and when they finally lock on to the scent they break into the signature baying that is synonymous to all beagles. They are off on the hunt. Bella being the more dominant of the three dogs will lead the way with Blue right on her haunches.

 Molly, the youngest of the three dogs, never really strays to far from my side and will walk right along with me. Occasionally, she will bring me sticks to throw so she can retrieve them.  Molly and I head through the south pasture behind the barn toward the path that leads through the woods. The sky is only beginning to brighten and I am happy to walk the path, as I not about to stumble through the woods in the dark. I can hear Bella and Blue in hot pursuit of their prey.  As Molly and I walk the path the baying gets louder and I can see Bella and Blue up ahead of us. They cornered a rabbit in an old stack of firewood.  I called for them to follow but they are too interested in the rabbit. I tried to lure them away with a cookie. Bella continues her relentless pursuit of the rabbit, but Blue is always ready for a free meal or snack and quickly abandons the hunt for his treat. Bella continues to run around the wood pile trying to dig the rabbit out.
 Molly, Blue and I walk the rest of the path to pond in the field beyond the woods. The sky begins to turn red as the sun breaks over the horizon. I take up a spot on a log along the edge of the pond and pour myself a cup of coffee from the thermos. I toss the dogs a couple more treats and eat my granola bar as we watch the sunrise.
Molly quickly devours her treat and comes running with a stick to play fetch. I toss the stick into the pond and Molly charges right in with a splash. She is a true waterdog and loves to swim in the pond. After several volleys into the pond we start our walk back to the house.
 We entered the path back through the woods, I noticed that Bella has stopped barking. I could see her still standing near the wood pile where we had left her. When I got closer I could see that she had something in her mouth. It was a small baby rabbit. I quickly grabbed her by the collar and pried open her mouth to remove the bunny. She immediately started barking in protest. I examined the bunny to see if it had been harmed. It seemed to be OK, excepted that it was wet from drool and frightened. I snapped a leash on to Bella and Blue and put the bunny back in the hole under the wood pile. I covered it with some leaves and led the dogs away and back to the house.
When we reach the house I brought the dogs in and fed them their breakfast. I went upstairs to get ready for work. When I came back downstairs, I found Molly, Bella and Blue again snuggle on the couch and the recliner sleeping.
I went outside but, before I got into my car, I look out over the farm and I couldn’t help but feeling sorry for people who feel that they need to go the gym for their morning exercise. My early morning walks provide me with a good work out, fresh air, as well as a great time to bond with the dogs.
 I can’t help but think that Marcus Aurelius would agree that my early morning walk is one of life's simple pleasure. I think he would approve and I can’t think of a better way to start the day.
~Old Dog~


  1. very true! great photos of the dogs!

  2. glad you are following my blog and really glad you have one! i enjoyed reading about your morning walk. sounds wonderful. totally understand the comment about people and the gym. savor your treasure! it's free and yours for the taking every day! look forward to more posts.