A Spring Walk At Cope Environmental Center

By Jack Humphrey | Outdoors

Apr 22

by Karole Passmore

Today we walked our favorite path at the Cope Environmental Center.  A sunny warm day for March, blue skies painted with thin cottony clouds.  Our dog Petie, who was set free to run , bobbed happily ahead of us—tail swishing side to side, tongue flopping to the beat of his stride.

Petey is getting a little white around the face, a gift to my son on his 12th birthday –who is now 23.  He has a new child to bond with—Mary Grace who is four and a half.  When he hears her little high pitched voice through the wind, he comes galloping back to see her.

He is in the best part of his days—slowing down from the hyper puppy curiosity to the maturity of taking time to study small sounds in the grass.  He no longer needs a leash—once we cross our street we let him run free.
Petey never goes far ahead now.  We can see his face peeking through the tall dry grass as we lag behind, waiting for us to catch up.  We see his tail swinging like a dear bounding through the field.  He stops, checks our position and stands ready to turn back if we change our course.

As we round the second bend towards the next pond, Petey knows where we are going—so he goes on ahead to wait.  At our final destination, Mary Grace “fishes” one more time in the “turtle pond” and Petey continues his curious exploration of the tall grasses.  Sometimes he hears the dry grasses crunching as a rabbit hops out of sight.  With the old pup blood of his youth he bounds for a bit after the little white tail.  But he soon circles back to check on his people.

The Petey of his youth would have kept up the chase long after night would fall.  But now he is content to keep his family in sight—always on the ready to follow.

He is so like some humans as we start out in life—bounding through it so quickly with rapid fire curiosity of everything around us.  Like us he knows there is no need to hurry now.  We gain more by noticing all the extraordinarily simple pleasures—a cricket in the grass, a song bird in the tree.  Life’s pure joys we miss when we hurry along through life.

We know this too as we watch our last child grow quickly before our eyes.  I wonder how we let the years of our grown children’s young lives slip by so fast.

Petey sits down beside us as we gaze into the cold pond water and Mary Grace dips her stick in to catch one more thing.  There is little life in the ponds now in March.  But we, all the older dogs, see flashes of our lives in that water, memories of other walks and March days.

To Visit: Cope Environmental Center (CEC) Online

Karole Passmore is a freelance writer who enjoys writing articles, short stories and researching non-fiction subject matter– preferably historical.  Graduate of RHS, Ivy Tech Richmond, and Earlham College– majoring in History, Karole has spent most of her life in Wayne County and enjoys the quaint atmosphere of a small town.

Karole also has a new business called “Vintage by Design” and her vintage clothing, décor, toys and designs will soon be displayed at the Railroad Store in the Depot District.  Into a healthier lifestyle, Karole is a Nature’s Sunshine distributor focusing on strengthening the body through herbal and supplemental therapies.  For more information about Nature’s Sunshine you can contact Karole at Jkkendall04@comcast.net.  (website coming soon).

About the Author

Editor of GoWayneCounty.com, CEO of BrickRoadMedia.com, Associate Dean of DirectionsUniversity.com. Twitter: @jackhumphrey