26 March

Zinnia’s Woods

by Jon Katz

I started thinking of our new walk place as “Zinnia’s Woods,” even though they are not her woods or mine, they belong to a kind and generous friend who has given us permission to walk anytime.

Zinnia has taken to these woods, there are streams for her to run through, mud to roll in, dead animal parts for her to try to eat, and countless smells and scents to explore.

We are especially close in those woods, she can run free and I can walk free, I barely have to pay attention to her, if she gets too far ahead, she stops and waits for me if I call her she comes quickly, and we walk together in concentric circles.

On these walks in the woods, I find it’s important to stop every now and then and look up. Trees do talk if we stop to listen. Maria taught me to do this. I am glad the ice is gone, I can walk in the woods again. There is even a big and beautiful Yellow Lab who appears now and then and races along the path with Zinnia and then vanishes.

They are great friends. I think the walks have become a meditation for me. You get the dog you need.

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