The last week had proven itself to be a difficult one. It seemed at every turn good sense and good intentions had been thwarted, resulting in me feeling somewhat punch drunk. As twilight began to set in after a long day, I decided to set myself and my wandering dog (from the post Searching in Circles) on the roads, fields, bridleway & footpaths close to the near by village. With the paths and roads riddled with puddles and heavily waterlogged we were soon weaving around and treading carefully to avoid wet feet and missed footings. I was thankful for the careful nature of the drivers who passed us by on the country lanes, most were gracious enough to dip their headlights and avoid ploughing through the standing water. Over the years I have become fairly adept at predicting the inconsiderate who spare no thought (or perhaps a malicious thought) as they leave you dazzled and drenched. As is often the case with people, when they cocoon themselves from nature, reality and the elements , their perspective and connection with the real world becomes skewed.
Once we were onto the quieter dirt track lanes I had to resist the temptation to unleash the dog as I would my others. It would appear this canine giant has a powerful hunting technique and had proven himself more than adept at catching rabbits. Unfortunately his hunting instinct can make him very single minded and difficult to recall once he has caught a scent and the onset of darkness on a damp night is not the time to test my dog handling abilities with a jet black dog capable of running for miles. As we walked I could see his attention snap onto a little figure huddled by the side of the track. The rabbit sensed eyes and perception upon him, powerful legs propelled the little creature towards the warren. I was dragged forward a few feet as my dog tried to follow until I could dig my heels in and halt the charge. I suspect the rabbit was expecting a chase as he accelerated before realising he was on the wrong side of a flooded ditch to reach the warren. In a gentle turn he kept up the furious pace and ran headlong towards the ditch, as the land turned to the black water he jumped and leapt the better part of seven feet to the undergrowth on the opposite bank. The landing was not elegant but the sight of a rabbit reflected in mid air over the flooded ditch was impressive. Later this year athletes will be long jumping for corporate sponsored medals in London, I can safely say I will not be watching. The leap this little creature took and the risks of failing make a mockery of the attention such athletes seek.
With the rabbit safely back to the burrow, we carried on enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the late evening. There was just enough light left to gaze upon the emerging bluebells in the long grass beneath the trees and the stark contrast of white blossom standing proud against the darkening canopy. What had started off as a wander to take my mind off the failings of a week had become inspiration itself, together with more fond memories and lessons learned.