A steep winding road drops from our plateau down around an interesting earthen grassy funnel-shaped field and on into the Kent Valley. I drove this cut-off route many times and never stopped, over several years… I never stopped. Until I had a speckled co-pilot, I never stopped to visit this place.
Somehow upon first glance of this site Sarrah knew that we should stop. Pressing her moaning howling head against me and thumping her tail wildly against the truck interior until I laughed, said “OK” slowed down and turned into the lot, then whimpering filled the cab. Excitement exploded out of the bouncing black and white blur of fur, into the sea of green.
This former gravel pit turned into park is an aggressive walk, making it typically less crowded. The steep stairway into the labyrinth of spiraling lateral walkways is a hip grind in and a calf burner out. In youth Sarrah would run up and down the hillsides between the paths and with age mellowed into staying close.
I doubt Sarrah really noticed much of the view as she was typically so excited running and sniffing, perhaps when time slowed her some of the surroundings became more apparent. On clear days Mount Rainier can be viewed to the south, on foggy days the over-developed valley disappears.
This maze of a park became a favorite place to enjoy some freedom.
It came to me that it is not about Closure, it is Freedom, for her.
Perhaps I do not heal like others, or at all.
Heavy words like Loss are supposed to be followed by the equally heavy Closure in some kind of weight transfer on an invisible set of scales.
I cannot embrace Closure, but her Spirit deserves Freedom.
* * *
This is what I wrote early Saturday morning. I then poured some of Sarrah’s Ashes on the paper and carefully folded it.
Saturday March First Two Thousand Fourteen I walked alone down to the beach for a sunny solitary moment with the 0.9 low tide and ocean breeze.
A lone seagull showed up and quietly watched and waited with me for waves to come and wash over.
Sarrah loved it near the dunes so I’d planned to release some of her ashes here and found a surprise (a gift) near our usual trail end. A driftwood bench has appeared since my last visit, so I put some near it.
I sat on the bench to enjoy the view and absorb the moment.
When I got up to leave an Eagle appeared on the beach and stood guard.
A couple of business collaborations ended over a three-year span. One ended well having run its course, just a few months prior to the music stopping. The later fell to the circumstances, making it time to pick up and try again. I had seen glimpses of ‘the writing on the wall’ for quite a while in my handwriting (this is an example of where stubbornness isn’t always a quality) and knew that I needed to cause the latest change and jump into the pile of challenges that it takes, to move on. My human battery would not hold a charge and I sensed that this change should be done while I still had my four-legged assistant, before I would not be able to rise out of bed, let alone to the occasion. It was time to recycle my crippled career, in a new direction, with a new group, one more time. Sarrah was eleven and half years old at this time with most of her life in the past and the dark cloud that all animal people are aware of, but try to ignore, was getting closer.
A working week alone with Sarrah at the Beach House in the late winter of Two Thousand Ten gave me time to do many things, one of which was to finally embrace this conclusion and scrounge up the energy required to get on with it. While there I did some of the things that ease my mind, forms of what I suppose are mediation. We walked many miles on the beach, through the dunes and down the roads. The weather cooperated so I rode my motorcycle daily, around the community and the rural roads. Most importantly, I simply sat in the sunshine with my best friend and watched her nap. At each day’s end, we walked to the beach to watch the sun disappear into the ocean. Every evening I watched my favorite movie, “The World’s Fastest Indian”. This was my first lone stay at the Beach House. The quiet time alone was good for me and I feel fortunate that Sarrah was with me for this experience.
Shortly after returning, I met with another group who had expressed an interest in me, made ‘The Change’ and began the next chapter of my tired, working life story. Around this time a movie titled “The Weary Kind” came out along with a soundtrack of the same name by Ryan Bingham that felt like a fitting battle song for the times (especially the lyrics “Somehow this don’t feel like home, anymore” and “Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try”), Sarrah and I listened to this tune every morning as we rallied to fight on another day.
While mowing my lawn, for the last time this season, I was smiling and remembering many portions of different …days-gone-by
I am not sure whether it was quality time with me, decent weather or the smell of cut grass that Sarrah liked most. While mowing the lawn (after the first few scary experiences with the noisy mower) Sarrah enjoyed being a part of this chore. In the backyard she’d run alongside, and occasionally throw bones or toys in front of the mower to slow me down. She delighted in making me stop to move the obstacle and often then make a high speed pass running by with a huge smile. I would then throw this distraction and she would run to retrieve it. Sarrah would wait for a clump of grass carelessly dropped by the mower to land so she could grab it and trot around, head held high, like a little horse chewing on it. I can see her now, my green-footed little speckle job groaning, rolling and wriggling on her back, getting an aromatic back scratch from the newly cut lawn.