Lessons on a dog walk part two: the pleasure of small things & impermanence

Early morning, and it feels as though I have the woods all to myself, with just the dogs, the birds and local wildlife the company.  On cresting a hill I take a deep breath and look out over the Cheshire plains to the right, and the mountains of Wales to the left.  The clouds above me are dark and brooding, moving low in the sky like zeppelins being pushed by a wind that I cannot feel.  It seems as if only I could stretch my arm a little higher that I would be able to touch the clouds as they pass.


I look towards the hills of Wales noticing that one hill alone seems to have been singled out for its importance or significance as this is the only patch of hazy sunlight that I can see.  And as I look more closely, the colour isn’t the yellow of the early morning sun, it is Reds and blues and greens have been smudged into each other like pastels on paper.  Curious about this odd coloration I watch as the fuzziness is replaced by distinct separation of colour and a section of rainbow is revealed.  I had not expected to see a rainbow today as the sky is dominated by grey heavy clouds hiding the sun.  This small patch of rainbow fills my heart with joy and I feel grateful for the gift I have witnessed; and I asked the question-am I the only one to have stopped to see this transformation?


The patch of rainbow is quickly hidden by the clouds and as I move on the rain begins to fall with sharp needle-like precision on my skin and I ponder-how is it possible for raindrops to feel as though they have sharp, hard edges?  And despite the sky getting darker, and cloud seemingly to sit lower in the sky.  As suddenly as the rain came it ended; and the dogs, excited by the flirt of a rabbit’s tail bound into the undergrowth to give chase.


I climb another hill, and as I reach a bend in the path I happened to look upwards, and revealed in all her glory is the full perfect rainbow!  A most unexpected discovery and she takes my breath away.  The morning has been filling my senses and as I turn another corner, the rainbow is gone and suddenly other dog walkers and their four-legged friends appear and the peace of the morning has changed-the birds voices are now joined by ours as we continue on our way.


It seems that the rainbow was for my eyes only, as my companions had not looked upwards.  These small everyday pleasures have the power to linger in our hearts and minds for days, weeks, months and even years afterwards.  Do not underestimate the power of recalling these memories and the happiness and gratitude that they generate in you…and although everything changes, that memory and image are yours to treasure.