April 27, 2012

That which isn’t there…

I came across a word I was unfamiliar with the other day.


“What’s that word mean?” I asked Gretchen. I was expecting her to answer with her usual teacher response (“Look it up!”) but she humored me and answered.

“Well, literally it means a place in the desert where you can find water and shade. But it can have another meaning as well, one that isn’t so literal.”

“Like what?” I asked, curious.

“Like a place of refuge…somewhere where you can feel renewed and refreshed and it’s not always a place like a destination, but more like a feeling.”

Now I was really confused. “Please explain,” I asked.

“Well for me, for instance, music is kind of an oasis. If I’m feeling stressed or overworked or sad, I can listen to music and it soothes and nourishes me,” she explained.

“And nature does that, too, right?”

“Yep, I love to be outside to feel revived,” she said and then added, “Just like you.”

It’s true. I find nourishment on a deep level when I am outside, especially if I’m allowed to be off leash. In fact, Gretchen knows how important it is for me so she does her best to get me out in the woods without my leash at least once a day.

“Okay, I understand,” I said, “But I was wondering, is an oasis, the literal kind, always a place of water and shade in the desert?”

“Interesting question,” Gretchen replied. “Are you thinking of something specific?”

I was. It’s true. “Well, can it be a place that is dry as in without water (as in rain) and no shade (as in the sun)?”

“Kind of like a reverse oasis?” Gretchen smiled.

Yes, that’s exactly what I was looking for. A place where there isn’t much rain and the warmth of the sun spreads over my entire body.

“Well, Rubin,” Gretchen said, “I sure hope there’s such a place because after this winter and so-called spring, a bit of sun and warmth would do us both some good!”

I suppose I shouldn’t complain. We had an amazing weekend last week — warm, sunny, temperatures in the 70s — and my buddy Monty (who spent the weekend with us) and I lounged on the warm deck and went on long, warm walks soaking up every oasis-like moment of it.

And then I realized there are oases all around me. Momma Ann is an amazing gardener and she’s been working hard to keep our garden in tip top shape. She doesn’t care what the weather is like in her oasis of blossoms and buds and though my pleasures in the garden are that I like to dig in the dirt, I still truly appreciate the beauty of our little oasis especially in the spring time!

We really enjoyed the beautiful flowers in our garden that were soaking up the sunshine and warmth as well.

Even the bugs were loving it! (We found this guy on our front door…and he stayed there for the whole week!).

But the weekend and early week sunshine faded and we were confronted with rain and the treat of thunderstorms and ice pellets later in the week.

ICE PELLETS! There are no ice pellets in my oasis.

What is in my oasis? Sun, of course, and more importantly my friends. I have a lot of friends and they make my life glorious — a refuge in the desert so-to-speak. This week I kind of needed them because, while the weather was wonderful until about Tuesday, it quickly went downhill and so, I feared, would my spirits.

But on Wednesday, my possible plunge into gloom was averted when I got to hang out with my buddies Monty and Paige…

…and we got to run around and be crazy…which in my book is another form of an oasis…

And we went for along walk by the watery oasis of the lake with Woobie who refused, despite all efforts, to look at the camera though eventually she did…

…and at night, I saw my dear old friend Quillette and her mom and some neighbor friends who all came over for dinner…and Q found an oasis on my favorite bed…

…and then Thursday I got to hang out just with Gretchen (we had no dogs to walk) and that was just as amazing as hanging out with my friends…

…and then, much to my surprise, we had house guests — Porter and Porcini — who provided lively entertainment and a promise of a busy Friday…

We went for a walk by the lake early Friday morning. These little guys can really move and their ears! I did my best to get my ears to go up, but alas…

…Friday that was filled with short-nosed dog adventures…


a “Dalmatian” poodle (yes, Monty is often confused in this way), a beautiful Boxer (yep Tyson is a beauty in many ways)…

and another night sleeping in different beds (Porcini is kind of a bed hog!).


I’ve decided that an oasis can present itself in many forms and if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll pass the refuge by. And often, when you least suspect it or think you don’t need it, an oasis will present itself even if it’s in the form of that which isn’t there (like the lack of sunshine!)

Have a great weekend everyone!


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