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.

With gratitude,


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