God-awful is a common term, but really improper, when you think of it. That said, were you to quiz 100 people about this day, 99 of them would term it such. It's cold, pelting rain, rising wind, barren trees. Just awful all around.
Savvy would be among the 99, should she be allowed a vote. I have to lure her from the porch with "cookies" that, despite my rain slicker, are soggy before we even make the woods. It's a four-bite hike to get her in there, and she looks skyward with trepidation. Meanwhile, I'm soaked, my Patriots cap dripping madly, my slicker, sweatshirt, and tee-shirt drinking up the cold rain, my pants soggy between the tops of my boots and the bottom of my slicker.
God-awful is the term that comes to my mind but I dismiss it quickly. It's improper to pair the name of the Almighty with an adjective like awful, and blasphemous to throw the description about. Ugly might be the best term. Wet, windy, cold, the color of October flung to the ground in a brown mess, with six months of lifelessness ahead.
And yet...as we venture deeper into the woods, Savvy shakes off her trepidation and takes the lead. Something has kicked in, the essential nature of a Labrador Retriever that makes water friend and not threat, that makes sticks and sod and puddles a fulfillment of the Lord's creation and not something to be endured.
Something kicks in for me as well. I'm even wetter but my warmth spreads outward, my soggy shoulders defying the awfulness of the day. I am the 1 in 100, the fool out in the maelstrom, the witness to God's creation in all its glory, even as He has stirred the clouds to drench dog and woman and woods.
Last week the colors peaked and the tourists snapped photos and ooh-ed and ah-ed about Indian summer and ripe apples and brilliant trees.
This week -- this day -- is mine, to be shared with a puppy who has found her God-given nature and thus exults in the storm. I exult with her, though perhaps without her, my praise would have been grumbles.
Thus is the essence of a dog. The ability -- the calling --to turn a hideous day into a God-awesome one.