life leads us on
It is about nine in the evening, I step outside to briefly accompany the dog. I am tired, but drawn to walk; I cross the yard and continue. I love being outside in the dark open world. When I was young it terrified me. But now I find myself entranced -- moving through peace rather than thick trepidation.
I call the dog to come with me; he hesitates and then darts along. He was my companion before my family, before my marriage. It is only occasionally that I walk with him alone now. He represents independence the way that walking alone in the dark represents independence.
I feel a piece of myself when I walk alone with my dog.
He is a happy family dog now, running and sniffing from grassy yard to grassy yard in the dark; leading the way as I walk slowly on, content.
I am a happy family woman now walking alone on an unlit road just past dusk; somewhere in the upper Midwest, a place that I never would have conjured from my imagination.
Life leads us on.
I reach the end of the road and look out toward the small airstrip and fields beyond. In the distance I see lights that I cannot identify and the silhouette of a tree line. The sky is neither clear nor cloudy, the moon and a speckling of early stars shine through the haze.
I pause and then turn around calling my companion to come along. He turns as well and traces back his steps sniffing and peeing his way along other peoples yards.
I walk at a moderate pace, mindful that my visiting mother does not know I left the house; soaking up the dark solitude.
I arrive at our yard and gaze across it at my universe, dimly lit, partially tidy, container of all meaningful moments. I call my dog near as we reenter our mutual domain. He trots close and I tell him he is good.