I keep walking. Walking my way down the gravel and dirt 2-track, over little Mud Creek, across the cattle guard, up to the small pinyon-juniper studded mesa. I keep moving amongst the newly arrived mountain bluebirds, through the vibrant trill of the meadowlark. Walking, like writing, keeps me breathing.
I took off with the sunrise this morning; big winds are predicted for later and I opted for cold sunshine. Teak romped her Lab body along my side, tail pointed skyward in pure joy. Then I heard the mew. Pooka was behind me, struggling to catch up. She'd accompanied me almost daily for the past year, her leopard-spotted Bengal body trotting daintily at my side. But she'd kept her distance since my recent return. She's pissed and upset at the changes divorce pours down upon her lair. Now...she'd decided to join me again. I looked back to see her about ten yards behind, turned my back on her and continued to walk fast. Then I broke down in sobs.
This, the metaphor. I will drive away from her in a few weeks; when I leave she'll stay here at Casa Barnyard with Tom. And so I keep walking, creating more and more distance between us until she turns and skulks back home. Call it practice.
She ran down the hill to meet me as I returned; mewed outside my door to be let into the trailer. As I typed away on this piece she positioned herself behind me, stood up on her hind legs and placed two paws onto my head. Now she sleeps upon my legs, over my crotch, her moka-brown head with one notched ear bowed as if in prayer. She knows every word I'm typing.
Sometimes I wonder how I'm going to get through this.