Thursday, July 12, 2012
A Late Afternoon At the Lake
Kids, last evening, Damian and I were at the lake. I was sitting blissed out in a deck chair while Damian happily tunneled and dug moats around his castle, humming away to himself. In front of me and over a bit was a fifty-ish woman with her golden lab. Of course, the first thing I had done when we arrived was make friends with the dog and say how great it was to see a dog in the water on a hot day.
As I sat watching, I became struck by the closeness of their bond. He was utterly devoted to his mistress, and she was very caring with him, patting him, smoothing the water from his muzzle. I thought "a woman alone", as I recognized the closeness of that bond, when one does not have a significant human Other.
After a bit, the dog lumbered, panting, over to me and we communed. He was such a lovely old soul. "How old?" I asked her, as it was obvious he was near the end of his life.
"Twelve," she replied.
"He's so devoted," I observed.
"Yes, completely," she said. And then she blew my doors off. "My husband died suddenly, three months ago. He wasn't ill, we had no warning. So Charley knows something large has happened. And do you hear that rasping in his breathing? He has cancer, both lungs."
In that moment, the peaceful woman, sitting contentedly by the lake with her dog, became a grieving woman, facing the imminent loss of the dog who was her main comfort.
"Life is so much about loss, isn't it?" I said gently.
"Too many losses," she replied.
Yes, too many losses.
Every person has an incredible story. I keep discovering this. If you are a human, alive on this planet, you are making a heroic journey. Keep your hearts open, my friends. Observe the landscape you are traveling through. It is littered with stories more fantastic than Scheherazade's.