Walking the neighbourhood in my quest for gardening ideas is not without its perils. When I advocate ‘getting one’s teeth into it’, I don’t mean literally. But that’s how the tiny white fluffy dog apparently read me.
There I was, strolling along the narrow track around the boat harbour, minding my own business when the wee, white flash latched onto my leg. No warning mind you, no threatening body language or growling, just needle sharp teeth sunk into my tender calf before beating a retreat behind its shocked owner’s legs.
Now I’m not one to throw profanities around, well, not without provocation, but I did invoke four-letter visions of excrement in my shock. There was no question of the bark worse than the bite. This dog was all bite and no bark!
The local hospital emergency department is on this route, so a half an hour later, bandaged and newly jabbed, I gingerly walked home contemplating my experience.
What did I learn? I learned that sometimes you can be minding your own business and still offend some. That even the gentle art of walking can be fraught with dangers. That one can’t assume to know what poses a threat just by appearances: wolves can be found in fluffy white clothing. And I learned that some people will deny events happened until presented with the gory evidence.
Will this temper my love of dogs? No. But I will be wary of small white fluffy ones baring teeth.
This morning I returned to the scene of the crime. Not without some trepidation – what if my nemesis happened along that same narrow path at the very moment I was there?
I returned because I wanted to avoid being ‘twice shy’.
So often events in my life have resulted in me being hyper-vigilant and even fearful, wanting to avoid any possibility of a recurrence. Rational thought renders these responses harmless; after all, what are the odds that the same confluence of factors present then, would occur again? But sometimes they do. My imagination dresses up in wolf’s clothing.
So the choices are: to acknowledge that possibility, albeit it remote, and fly in the face of fear anyway. Or live less ‘muchier’ lives because of it.
“You’re not the same as you were before,” he said. “You were much more… muchier… you’ve lost your muchness.”― Lewis Carroll,
I choose ‘muchness’