The lack of snow this year in Minnesota sure did put a crimp in my plans. Two races were cancelled and I had to withdraw from another two because I did not have enough training miles on the sled to be a solid competitor.
So disappointing, and yet I trust that things are playing out as they should, even if I don't understand why.
I haven't been back on the sled since the mishaps just before the end of the year. So much has transpired since then. A precious friend ended her life in January, and those of us who loved her remain shell-shocked. I came down with the flu soon after and was the sickest I've been in years. The ole joints have really been screaming for attention, and I'm usually the last to hear. But I had to listen up recently when the discomfort got the better of me.
I haven't really had words to describe the sadness, bewilderment, and strain of seeing a dream that seemed so real slowly fade to gray this year. But I stumbled upon just the right language penned by my favorite poet, Mary Oliver. And I've been sitting on some dreamy footage of my pups and me training one foggy morning in January when the sun finally warmed things up. And then I found an extraordinary piece of music (humming, really) by Carly Simon, and something took shape tonight that gave expression to this odd place I find myself in.
The dogs are so beautiful, the experience so haunting, and in the end, I remain hopeful that I am doing what I am supposed to do and grateful for the mentors, the friends, the colleagues, and the family who have seen me through this strange journey.
|Beautiful, complicated, and willful lead dog, Penya, from whom I have learned much.|