A Wink and a Whistle

In a faint rain, on a trail rising from the ravines, I passed a graying man and his young Great Dane. Our dogs met, which is also to say that the man and I met in the common custom of dog owners. In a unexpected lumbering leap the Great Dane put his paws on my shoulders, slathering my face with mud and white frothy slime. Dropping his pipe and then with great tenderness, the gray gentleman pleaded with the giant to pick on someone his own size. Eye to eye, light to light, the man leaned into my space, wiping what he could from my jacket. His sand-papery voice said, “If I were on a island and destined to die there, I might rather choose five dogs than five people as my last companions. Please forgive my friend's need to hug you.” And with a wink and whistle, he and the Great Dane carried onward deeper into the gorge.

At home, I eat out-of-state raspberries and try my best to manage a tangerine with manners. Is it possible to keep the juice all in? Friends text to say that they heard the sun might break through tomorrow: happy dance, smiley face, #michiganwinter, #grayisthenewblack, lol. I will celebrate today and let tomorrow find me both wanting and happy.

Emily's Letters, ginger snaps and a house full of silence. It isn't until letter three that I notice my naked ring finger. Letting it breathe means some times forgetting. I retrace my steps to the edge of the bathtub and find the wedding band resting in the ablution of water and dog shampoo. One wonders how long it takes for the impression to refill itself.

But I don't want to write about that. I want to take a nap and see something other than haylofts and strobing dust motes hanging in the filtered light. I want to wake and think of something other than the warm hand placement and fingered bookshelves and looking up at the ceiling from the shivery wooden floor.

At times Eden is a desert and at others it is the sign pointing a way around the sand. In either case, I saw this person staggering barefoot in the hot sands and I thought: yes, this one is yet alive.