Come see me, Sophie

IMG_3247
Sophie, Cyborg Sophie, Soph, Sophinator

[I’m a pet sitter and the above picture is Sophie–a Siberian Husky I’ve cared for many times–who took a turn for the worse while I was sitting for her and, in dramatic fashion typical of this charismatic girl, her last day on earth was spent with her parents racing back from their honeymoon–driving all night–in order to get to her, after which just a few hours later–time they said was wonderful–she collapsed and died peacefully.   I knew they’d get back in about 2:30 a.m. so during my evening visit Tuesday night, I said goodbye to her, and told her that in whatever world she ended up in, to come see me, for I’ve known her in better times, and long for her to walk and eat and prance and do her barkbeg for treats, and maybe even keep stealing her sister Greta’s chewies and hoarding them in her bed, and walked away in tears, hoping she would come see me, and that I’d again be able to once-more see her looking at my face intently in the charming way she had because she loved life and could not help but look out at it with eyes desiring to share that love with the world].

Come see me, Sophie, as you’re walking the blue twilight between worlds.

Come see me, in that dream land, when the pain disappears, and the body absorbs into stars,
and we can behold the sun as it rises on this first new day.

Come see me, From your world beyond pain, when the boldness of your heart finds itself again, and in the unburdening from flesh you can see the magic of who you are.

Come see me, Sophie, and watch the tears of a Sophie-less morning,
Then scamper off to the world you now belong to, catching joy like butterflies,
looking back to see me (one more time)
Quietly calm in the salty stream
Daring the world to make me forget
For as on the lawn that day and forever, with my hand stretched out, you reached back to me through Time, painting me into wholeness with vibrant splashes of your self, making my heart thump with happiness as your eyes held the wonder of the blue sky and the deep green, and the clouds watched and danced across the sun.

Staying 

On my way to sit a few days ago, I was on the stretch of 700 East where it curves around and intersects with 900 East.

It’s a wide road there–like 8 lanes I think–with a lot going on, stoplights, and turn lanes, cars barreling and others merging, and another stoplight up ahead synced up with the 9th East one, so that if the first light’s green, you don’t even have to think about stopping. You can just sit your ass in your lane and just “f*ck it” on through.

And it was late evening, but even through my speed and the curves, I could see something up ahead moving across the road from right to left, and it took me only just a sec to realize it wasn’t just one something: it was three “somethings”, a mama duck and her two babies, crossing this road, with cars easily going 55 to 60, mama in front and babies in back, in the hot dusk and barely visible, moving across the road at a pace suggesting they were well aware of the danger.

And relatively fresh in my mind was another sit I’d done at a complex with lots of ponds, when I’d seen this mama duck and her six or seven ducklings toddling around, and as I surveyed the scene of so many ducklings in my car, I had pulled up slowly and maybe because I’m a weirdo, rolled down my window to offer her my respect as one parent to another (’cause this shit’s hard, yo) and window rolled down, as her babies scurried close by, I was telling her what a good mom she was and enjoying the moment, before looking down and noticing that nearly right under my window was the completely flattened remains of a baby duck that’d been crushed by a car.   The guts were relatively fresh, and it was literally so flat that while carefully driving up–with the remains smack in the middle of the road–I hadn’t even seen it.

So of course on that dusk-night, my mind went to “oh my god; they’re going to die,” because flattened ducks happen and sometimes happy endings appear so unlikely that it seems best not to hope.

I looked to my left at the big black SUV next to me–preparing to quickly look away from the carnage lest the driver not see the mama–but he saw them and slowed, and between the two of us, the little family got to the middle of the road where they then rushed into the lanes of the oncoming traffic and out of my view but, as I turned south onto 9th East, I just happened to look in my drivers side mirror at exactly the right time and saw that somehow the little duck family had also managed to safely cross the 4 lanes going the other direction and were now together and moving towards the brown grass of the far side of the road.  Out of immediate and imminent danger, hearts certainly racing, and marching forward, blessedly having edged out death so as to be graced with another day to live.

And, naturally, I was so relieved.

About a mile down the road as I relived the scene with a calmer mind, a powerful thought came through, so powerful I had to write it down and share it with my girls later.

Because on that road–in a duck scene I’ve seen maybe dozens of times before–mama duck and her babies crossing in extreme danger, the road roaring with cars, feet propelling them desperately forward through what seemed like certain death, I couldn’t get over something that I’d always before taken for granted.

For locked in my limited box of “human”, where I’m sealed into an experience and magnetically tied upon the earth, I’d never before acknowledged what an improbable act of self-sacrifice it is that, in the midst of extreme danger and peril, the mother duck doesn’t just save herself and fly away.

And in opening my eyes wider, I let in an entire world.  For, in a life of psychological minefields, holding to hope seems foolish until you finally see the ever-present happy endings that you never even noticed.

And Life’s not just about flattened baby ducks.

Life’s also about mama ducks who don’t fly away.

IMG_7475(1)
Another “happy ending”, built in the front yard of a home in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. Our own actions is what creates the world, and “staying” also means embodying a caring for the world, even when the recipient will forever remain anonymous.