Snow Dog

Snow Dog dashes through the frost

To catch the ball at any cost

Meanwhile I slip and think I’m lost

But hey it’s only Winter

She brings the ball back caked with ice

Held in her mouth and don’t think twice

I feel like I am rolling dice

But hey it’s only Winter

My hands are numb my nose is blue

“Just one more time and we’ll be through”

She’s quite a Snow Dog it is true

And hey it’s only Winter

Happy Birthday Aries!

Here in the Willamette Valley February marks the middle of the rainy season. Song birds cheerily proclaim their message of renewal. Breezes stir the air, and push against me playfully as I walk along beside Aries.

For her part, Aries seems to snuffle the yard with renewed interest. Because everything is new. Renewed and alive. Everything is celebrating LIfe. Again and again. One season at a time. One day at a time. One moment at a time.

And hey! Speaking of celebrating, today is Aries birthday. Three years old and spirited as a colt. Aries is already a pro at getting me up and moving. She carries her yellow ball around most days. Ever ready and hopeful that a game of fetch is just around the corner. She lures me out of my chair by squawking her toys. She runs up to me in the hall and tugs me into the living room. Growling and wagging and prancing us around in circles. During games of Scrabble with J she frequently interrupts by “showing” me her ball without actually giving it to me. Walking backward she leads me away from my chair and into her play.

And oh what a walking partner she is becoming!

So Happy Birthday to you, Dear Aries! Now let’s go play!

Aries and I

What could be better than a brisk walk around the neighborhood with birds twittering and the breeze stirring the air all around you?

Well, I’d have to say it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood amid birdsong and breezes with my amazing Seeing Eye teammate Aries!

And oh, the things we encounter along the way!

Today for example. We were treated to a hawk circling overhead. His piercing “scree” alerting us to his continued presence as we rounded the corner. Only I was distracted. Aries remained totally focused on her work of leading me safely down the sidewalk.

Then there was the jogger who passed us by on my right. “Good morning,” she huffed softly. “Good morning,” I smiled. And Aries remained focused all the while.

Sometimes when a dog appears down the block or especially across the street, Aries takes a moment to assess the situation. She watches with great interest. Often stops abruptly despite my prompting. But always moves silently along at last. The other canine might pull at its leash or bark a greeting our way. But Aries knows her task. And she keeps to it.

Aries is getting to be a pro at showing me the curb cuts when we come to them. She glides me past street signs and mailboxes. She stops to alert me to barriers–like a vehicle blocking our path. She takes me around the barrier and back onto our route.

And once home,once my coat and her harness have been properly stored, she joins me out on the deck for a lively game of fetch. Because as the end of the day, she is not only my walking partner. She is my buddy!

What Signifies A Game Of Fetch

before the rubber ball leaves my hand

the air welcomes it

and briefly

all laws of gravity and politics

fall away

because within the world of this miniature sun

abides the sacred space of anticipation

the unfettered joy of leaping forward

free and unafraid

the singularity of space and time

of motion and stillness

Because there is only this circle of living light

soaring on invisible wings

waiting to be seen and cherished and delivered back to me

wet with slobbery delight

Weather Report

Weather Report

by Joan Myles

Fog on a Monday ain’t so bad

As long as Sunday’s heart was glad

And Tuesday’s plans don’t make you mad

Because it’s only weather

Dark in the window ain’t so bleak

If the kitchen sink don’t leak

You may fret and feel a freak

But at least we are together

How Much Do You Know About Braille? Learn More Reading These 15 Facts

*Because reading and writing are such a significant part of my life, every January I try to say something meaningful about braille. The following is a lovely tribute, packed with surprising and interesting facts*

Empish J. Thomas

Empish Reading Braille

January is the time we, in the blind community, celebrate Braille Literacy Month. Braille is a code created for reading and writing. This code, which is a series of raised dots on paper, has revolutionized the lives of people with vision loss because it has opened doors of literacy, education, employment, and independence.

History of Braille

Additionally, Louis Braille’s birthday was on Jan. 4 and this date is recognized internationally as World Braille Day. Braille was a Frenchman who lost his vision from an accident as a small child. His family enrolled him in the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris. As a teenager there, Braille began the process to create a reading and writing system by touch. He continued to perfect the system and as an adult became an instructor at the Institution. Unfortunately, Braille’s method was not accepted by the sighted instructors and he died…

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Lines by Carol Ann Duffy

*I just can’t resist sharing this stirring bit of the poem Little Red Cap by Carol Ann Duffy*

I took an axe

to a willow to see how it wept. I took an axe to a salmon

to see how it leapt. I took an axe to the wolf

as he slept, one chop…and saw

the glistening, virgin white of my grandmother’s bones.

I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up.

Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing, all alone.

It Begins

*Wishing my Darling Readers sweetness day by day, moment by moment, always!*

It begins.

A new year.

More promises to do better.

To be better.

To give more love more be more

But if I am

Here and now and always

With the Beloved One

Part of the Beloved One

Breathed by and breathing the Beloved One

Now is all there is.