The Lesson of Snorkling Dogs

Summer Solstice
Barley field in the sun

” It is a night of gathering. Of dreaming. And of disspelling. Such are the customs I have been taught and the heritage I have come from.

Tonight, fires will burn to celebrate what has been given and what is to come – and to purify that, which we keep closest to heart, so that we may continue to keep it close without harm.”

I always go to the sea on soltice. My own private ritual, I guess you could say. There are just some days when the sea beckons and invites me to come sit by it, and this is definitely one of those. To me, it is like coming home. There I find peace and space to breathe, no matter what’s troubling me.

In a few months my life will turn itself inside out and nothing will be as it is right now… and mostly, I have come to the conclusion that that is a good thing. Still, it is a little scary, and the urge to hold onto something, anything, simply because it suggests a state of permanence is so tempting. How clean does a clean slate have to be to work? I don’t know. I guess that is what I am trying to figure out at the moment.

Tonight, as the sun began to set on the solstice, I sat on a small pier with my back against one of the posts and my eyes closed, listening to the waves rolling in gently. Below me in the shallows my dog was doing her own version of “puppy snorkling”, which pretty much makes her sound like a drowning tractor… not very graceful, but she has fun. And it makes me smile. I don’t know whether it is her “retriever” nature, but her favourite game seems to be diving for big rocks, which she then digs out and shuffles ashore to be piled neatly on the sand. To see the tenacity with which she goes about this you’d probably think we’re paying her, but it’s a task of her own invention and folly. Apparently one she enjoys immensely…

To her each new rock is a triumph, and even in the face of the Herculean task of ridding the beach of all the stones, she celebrates. I think, I could learn a lot from that. Learn to see “pointless” as “worthwhile” by altering perception. And to take one thing at a time and not worry about the previous or the next one to come. The end result doesn’t matter. Only this rock right here right now does . So simple. Yes, I could definitely learn a lot from that.

To me solstice is an evening for taking stock. And seeing my dog floundering around like a snorting water buffalo to stack a bunch of rocks on the beach kind of helped to set things in perspective a bit.

Oh, and the picture… It has nothing to do with any of this. It’s just a shot I caught on my way home. A promise of good things to come. A reward for all the hard work. Something to make it all worthwhile. It was a nice reminder. And kind of poetic, too. Don’t you think?

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The Lesson of Snorkling Dogs

4 thoughts on “The Lesson of Snorkling Dogs

  1. absurdoldbird says:

    Your writing is beautiful, as is your thinking!
    I’ve added your blog to my feed reader, and hope to enjoy more of your posts – I’m sure I shall.
    🙂

    1. Scattered Rayn says:

      Hi Val, and thank you so much for your comments! I’m really glad you found my blog and look forward to spending some time immersed in yours – I’m especially looking forward to seeing your artwork!

  2. First off that is an absolutely beautiful picture, I love it. Second, this was so lovely to read. And so true. It is kind of something I have been thinking about in terms of photography and a career, and so it was nice to hear it phrased in a different way.

    1. Scattered Rayn says:

      Abi,
      Thanks so much – both for the compliment on the picture and for enjoying the post. In many ways it has been your unceremonial approach to photography that made me capture this picture at all. I overthink things… plan too much and look too hard for perfection, and so end up unable to see the forest for all the trees, so to speak. In reading through your blog I have come to cherish the idea just as much as the execution. The creativity as much as the end result. You take stunning pictures – even when you say it was done hastily or didn’t quite come out as you’d planned… and I guess, somehow that made photography tangible for me again. Put it back within reach of my own ambitions, I suppse you could say… 🙂

      So, thank you for that!

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