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Farewell to an Old Friend
I can still remember the moment I knew with certainty that the day was drawing near.
I was walking the dogs in the shiver of a pre-dawn morning when I saw a meteor slowly, almost lazily, etching a silver trail across the sky. I knew from the meteor and the frost on the fallen leaves, the frost that matched the whiteness spreading across her muzzle and her face, that the time for farewells was approaching.
Considering I had a year’s warning, I should have been ready.
But of course I was not.
It seems a shabby way to say goodbye to an old and most dear friend, tossing dirt over a sheet-wrapped husk that once was home to a loyal heart, and I wonder where she is now; whether she has crossed that bridge of many colours; whether she will chase the golden sun across the sky as if it were nothing more than a giant tennis ball tossed by the gods for her amusement; whether somewhere, somehow her soul is entering the body of a newborn border collie pup about to take its first gasping breaths.
Later, I will take solace in the photos that show how gaunt she had become, how her eyes were misted with pain. But for now, there is only guilt and sadness for the quickness of the passing years, the unappreciated times that have flowed, irretrievably, down that river we can never step in quite the same way again, no matter how we might long to do so.
Bare branches, grey sky
And the honking
Of a solitary goose.