I suppose that I could have seen the road as grim and dreary and found myself lost in the grey that dominated my path. I could have given up and turned back and gone home to light the stove and pad about aimlessly in my socks. But I decided that I had to go out. That the dogs deserved this, an outing into the land that surrounds. So I called to them and leashed their collars and headed down the grit filled path that still holds the wrath of winter.
Nothing stirred. No visible growth. I walked on wearing my sons plaid jacket that was two sizes too big for me. I wore a cashmere hat that I bought in Macý's New York and hi-tops that soon became muddied and unfashionable. I was walking into my life and into the past and the future as a strange amalgamation of all that I stood for.
This past week has startled and unsettled me. A phone call came that pulled all of my senses away. A brother. A voice full of anger. I took the anger and then had to disperse it away from me in order to proceed. My emotions were thin having left a son in a distant land with no guarantees. I was lost. Afloat. Stranded.
I grasped the future like a drowning person. I saw no alternative.
I walk on the road. Cars pass me by and some wave at me in a friendly fashion. I grasp the waves likes bouquets of sunshine. The horses are not in the field and most of the houses appear empty and desolate. The dogs are immune to my emotion as I plod on up the hill past the house with three boys who kick a soccer ball outside in the cold arctic air. I keep my head down. An ancient labrador rambles out to greet us from one of the houses. He is stiff with arthritis. His face is grey with age. I remember him from when the boys were small, when we walked here and he ran out to greet them. Tears fall on my face for all that is lost. The dog greets us and then struggles to return to his place.
When I get to as far as I can go, I turn back. The walk is easier now. The wind behind me. My mind clears with that, it comes like well water, pure and crystal clear. I must believe in all that has come and gone and will come to me. I trust my heart to the elements. The watery sunlight sinks into the sky as the blue gate of home appears in view. Someone has lit a candle. The candle draws me in. The light from a candle is very beautiful when the path is lost, the destination unclear, the mind unsteady about what has been and will be.