The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


The Trail

My Golden Retriever, Oro, tugs hard on his leash. Impatient with my dawdling, he practically drags me down the steps that lead to the trail. We haven’t even left the neighborhood where we live -- the trail begins at the cul-de-sac at the end of our street. Soon, suburbia fades. It feels as if we’re deep in the woods.

Fragile winter sunlight filters through the branches of oak, bay and pine trees. The smell of rain-soaked earth mingled with dead leaves, envelopes us. I gulp it down like that first cup of morning coffee. I’d planned to walk, but now my body craves more, and I break into an easy jog.

I’m not the only one whose endorphins are kicking in. Forgetting he’s a senior with arthritic hips, Oro sprints ahead of me. I lose sight of him for a minute, but he waits for me to catch up when I call him. There’s a dopey grin on his age-whitened face, and he begs me with his eyes not to spoil his fun.

“Okay, boy,” I tell him, laughing. “Go on.” I know he won’t stray too far.

The woods have turned us both into kids again. We have the trail to ourselves and it feels like we’re playing hooky from the world. Those dirty dishes festering in the kitchen sink can fester a little longer. And that article I’m working on? It’ll wait until tomorrow.

For now, I’m not a mom, a wife or a worker. I’m just a girl on an adventure with her dog.

Treasures are waiting -- just for us, it seems -- around each bend in the trail: A perfect, bright yellow mushroom pokes its head through chocolaty soil; dozens of ferns cascade down a hillside in a silent, lacy green waterfall; a clump of twigs and leaves in a tree branch high overhead morphs into a mother bird sitting still as a statue on her nest.

I peek down at my watch. Time’s up. Time for me to get back to grown-up responsibilities. Time for Oro to have a long drink of water and a long nap. As we turn around and head for home, I’m grateful that when I allow myself the time -- the trail will be waiting for us.

By Dorothy O’Donnell


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I hear you sister! Though mine were not colicky, they would not let me put them down and my second child was not big on sleep for too long. I do wish I had a girl but then I
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