From the Front Porch

I am writing from a new place today on this warmer winter day. It was a hard morning for my puppy, Benji. My six-year-old dog, Lucky, went to the vet for a check-up. They are usually side by side where Benji is hopping fast and nibbling at her ears while he does his best to keep up with her longer gait. Some people worry it is annoying to Lucky, but those are the people who did not know Lucky well before and do not see how her hound dog eyes are much less droopy with her new little friend. 

If they are apart, it is usually if Benji goes to the dog park so Lucky can get a break from Benji’s energy. After all, moms do need a break now and then. So this morning was the first time in awhile that Lucky was taken away without Benji. A friend picked her up, and as soon as Lucky left, Benji howled like I have not heard him do before.

It felt like a cry from deep within trying to reach to the top of the sky to find the moon. I was struck by it because it was a sound from him I have never heard, and I have lost my voice this week so I could relate to my puppy trying to speak words he wanted to say but could not. I understood so I put his leash on and decided a walk would be good for him.

As Benji and I stepped onto the front porch, I saw Lucky was in the car of my friend about to leave for the vet and it reminded me of the kiss I blew to Jay over a year ago from my front porch as he was pulling out. I think the sound of Benji missing her momma dog reminded me of what might have come from me had I known that day I was saying goodbye. But I also know that those sounds do not often come from me. 

I think of Junebug laughing as she rubbed ice cream over her face in the days after her loud and sudden loss. She wanted to rub it all over the face of the giant planet earth she lived on because she did not want to live in a world with sadness and she believed that was possible. She fished over and over again in the sewer in the alley behind her house because she awoke every morning feeling hopeful that today would be the day. Maybe it would be the day that her two skateboards she tied together to attempt making a go-cart would actually work or the day the dolphin her sister saw swimming under the sewer would finally take her bait.

I would never want to tell Junebug she wasted her time fishing in the sewer because I know that having fun was always more way up her alley.  So while she fishes and Benji howls, I write away the layer upon layer of messy ice cream melted all over the story of my pages on my front porch today. In all that we do, whatever we do, most of us are howling out to the great big sky to shield us from the raindrops that must fall which is why we should always try to loosely hold umbrellas for one another. As much as we wish we could stay forever by the side of those who are warm with sweet ears we can endlessly nibble, the promise of the circle of life is only that it continues and we left must discover our own gait to keep walking. 

The Circle of Life