Up the road that looped through the hilly neighborhood we went. Georgie, the alpha matron, ran in front and Razzy followed, nipping at Georgie’s tail like the annoying teenager he was.
Georgie dove off the road into the undergrowth. She turned and looked back at me with a question in her brown eyes:
Are you game?
I peered into the gloom to see where she was headed and spotted a small path – well, not a path, really, just some trampled leaves and ferns. The dogs had probably done the trampling. It didn’t look like humans used the route.
Georgie wagged her tail and sat, as if to say that she would wait for me to decide. Razzy plopped down beside her. I stood in the road. The dogs panted.
Then I thought, why not?
For the next half hour I followed Georgie and Razzy through an obstacle course of long-limbed trees, leviathan ferns, and lichen-splashed boulders.
I could be in a heap of trouble.
Finally, a blue vista, spangled with light, opened up before us. The dogs splashed into the water of a rocky cove.
It was the perfect secret spot.
I straddled a giant slick-skinned log and soaked up the scene.
I pulled smooth stones and shells, tinged with pink, from the silky sand and stuffed them in my pockets.
I sucked salty air deep into my lungs.
I hummed along to the tune of the tide.
When at last I said, “Time to go home,” Georgie led us back to the house where my husband took one look at my muddy shoes and pants and asked, “Where have you been?”
“On an adventure!” I said.
An adventure I would never have experienced had I not given control over to a brown-eyed mutt and just followed.
I try to remember this often in my writing life. Not everything about writing will come in a familiar package. Not everything I need to learn will be taught by a workshop leader or a writing book. Sometimes I will need to stray from the route I have planned for myself.
If I keep an open mind and a willing heart, life will present me with learning detours and unusual guides who'll take me to magical places.
So that's my question today: