River DogSeptember 5, 2007 at 8:24 pm | Posted in art, blogging, country living, dating, dogs, faith, family, flowers, health, Holidays, knitting, love, marriage, pets, photography, relationships, romance, September 11, summer | 9 Comments
Last September I wrote about spending September 11th down by our cottage, out in our row boat on the river (“This will be our tradition“, posted 12 Sept 2006). At that time, I shared the peace and beauty of our sweet river in description and photos. This summer has been so busy, we didn’t get out on the river in the boat until just this past weekend.
Sunday afternoon my daughter and I went out in a funny little paddle boat for a while; it was her first time on the river, and she fell in love with it just as I did one year ago. Later that evening my husband and I went out in the row boat for fishing (him) and photography (me). We went upstream from the cottage, with him doing all the rowing and me snapping photos the entire time. Once he got the boat far enough upstream, he let it drift back down toward the boat house while he fished and I shot more photos. Between the time we spent at the river and other things we did over Labor Day weekend, I believe I shot well over 1,000 photos since last Saturday.
Ours is a quite, private river even during a holiday weekend. I saw less than half a dozen people there other than us. We took Blu along with us to see about getting him swimming and playing in the water. Sunday he started out a bit awkward and we couldn’t get him to jump in, full-bodied, to fetch sticks. However, I started pulling up long blades of grass and tossing them just a little ways out into the slow current and he was willing to gently step in to fetch those out as long as they weren’t too far from shore.
Monday afternoon my husband had repairs to make on the elevator (engineered and built by his father when my husband was just a boy) we use to go down to the river from the cottage. We took Blu along with us and after the elevator repairs were finished, we took him back down to the river level with us to see if we could get him to go out in the boat with us.
It was a new experience, and he did not like the idea of jumping into the boat, so my husband had to lift him and plunk him down inside with me. At first he was a little bit nervous when we moved out into the current but within just a few moments he noticed how cool it was that there was so much water everywhere. He started dunking his nose in and letting his face run along the surface of the water as my husband rowed us upstream.
It wasn’t long before my husband and I both agreed that Blu had become an official river dog. He got to where he was moving all around the back of the boat where I was sitting, sticking his face in the water and watching the thick, dancing river grasses in the water as we passed over them. What a treat to be there watching an entirely new, beautiful world opening up to our sweet Blu.
Again, after getting us upstream as far as he wanted to go, my husband let go of the oars and let us drift back downstream. For a time, all three of us sat silently, watching the river go by as we drifted silently along in the peaceful, almost hush-quiet environment of the river. All we could hear was birds and crickets, along with a splash every now and again as a fish jumped up and ate a bug, or a frog plopped in from the side.
For years I have had recurring dreams of a river, and in the dream the river is mine. I stumble upon it and it instantly brings me an incredible feeling of love, and happiness that is more powerful than anything I have felt in real life. In that dream, the river is different each time in appearance, but the feeling is always the same. I know when I see it that it is my river. I run along the bank of it, I bound effortlessly from stone to stone or boulder to boulder, depending on the type of river that shows up in any particular dream. I love that dream, and always feel refreshed, invigorated, and happy when I awake from a night’s sleep that included my river dream.
Monday, as the three of us moved down stream on our river I began to get that same magical, beautiful feeling. That was the first time the feeling of the river dream came into being in waking life. The colors in the environment were rich, deep, alluring … magic and intense. There was something also of the motion itself that and the beautiful dancing motion of the nearly emerald green, lush grasses growing all along the bottom of the river that contributed to the feeling of magic.
I was affected deeply, transcended in a way that I feel somehow will touch every moment of the rest of my life.
Tueday afternoon we went back again, taking Blu for more time on the river and so I could shoot more photos. When it came time to get in the boat, Blu jumped in by himself, with only a little coaxing and made himself right at home in the boat. My husband took us downstream floating with the current, and rowed us back to the boat house when we were finished. It was overcast, but still very beautiful with rich colors … still and beautifully quiet except for the once-in-a-while sound of oars touching the water gently to steer us along, crickets chirping, occasional ducks and geese somewhere around the bend, and the intermittent sound of a Great Blue Heron “out there” in our midst.
By then Blu seemed to be an old hand at being a river dog. He moved about the boat freely and seemed at times as if he was awfully tempted to jump out of the boat, into the water.
There is an island in the river, not far downstream from our boat house, and as we got down back around the end of it, my husband spotted the Great Blue Heron and quietly directed my attention toward it. He predicted the heron would be liftong off any moment, and of course it did. I capture a couple of shots of it flying away. A bit further downstream I changed to a zoom lens when we spotted the heron again, standing on the side of the river. After the longer lens was in place, my husband slowly and quietly slid the boat forward while I snapped as many shots as I could. The light was low and there was a lot of movement in the boat because of Blu, so I didn’t get any good, clear shots. I did manage to get one almost clear shot as the heron took off, and with the zoom lens I got enough definition that I could crop in pretty close to share his beauty with you in the blog today.
That magical river dream feeling was even more powerful Tuesday than it had been on Monday. I told my husband about it and told him also that I believe it must have been this river, our river, I dreamed of all those years. How I have managed to make so many dreams come true in the past couple of years … well, now how have i done that? I have some private ideas about it, but perhaps for now some of my thoughts need to remain private.
My husband just got home from work, and we are about to head off into the woods to shoot some photos and gather wild stuff for this year’s Thistleonians (search in my blog for “critters” to see what I’m talking about).
We will be spending September 11th out on the river, because that is our new tradition and one we will carry on with for years to come … with Blu the River Dog at our side.