Friday, November 27, 2009

Memories whistle through the barren branches

Something about winter when the leaves have died and fallen off the trees. I'm walking Dash around. A new dog for me, I'm walking through the streets of the old neighborhood. the memories of the big Polish man are haunting me, resounding through the cold and silent back alleys.His voice, booming through my memory. " Oh is that a German short hair pointer?" He new all the dog breeds. He and his amazing adult son, who worked on their apartments together,in the neighborhood I walked through, were always up for a chat. They adopted one of the shelter dogs I was walking one day, an adorable little heeler, much like my own. They saw her, spoke with me, and immediately went to adopt her. The big man always had a kind word for us a welcoming exchange, a bit of sharing. Such a huge man with a big heart and thick Polish accent and warmth that spread like wildfire. and now he is gone, taken by the natural world in such a quick and inconceivable way, falling in the boat hitting his head and gone to perpetual sleep in the mysterious waters below. I walk through this old neighborhood and the tears well up in my eyes. Dash has no memory of all this, he is happy to be out and about sniffing around, sliding on the ice, sloshing around in the slush, but I remember. That huge personality still echoes through the streets to me. The meeting up with his lovely wife on occasion, stunned by what had happened, but resigned to her fate, still having the distilled spirit of her dearly departed left remaining in her kind and devoted son. What a lovely family, and how sad that this mighty oak of a man has fallen. Why did this amazing person go, so seemingly before his time? Why those people who had such a warm and loving close knit family that touched everyone they met? We continue to walk on, year after year,my rescued heeler and I. New dogs, new people to meet and more stories to be found and discovered, pounding the pavement, walking the dogs, meeting our needs for exercise, kindness, and belonging.

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