I am the first to rise in this house and the darkness wraps itself around the walls like a black velvet shawl. I let the dog out into its folds and I can hear him baying way off in the distance, a type of Hound of the Baskervilles sound that carries off over the bog. I hope that he doesn't wake this sleeping house because I like this time to myself in the kitchen at this table with a good cup of hot coffee in a white cup beside me and plenty more in the pot.
I need to make a list and I need to check it twice. I resist making the list because it seems insurmountable right now but it has to be done. Son is leaving soon and I will go with him to California to ease the release. The casting off. When I tell people that we are going they say how envious they are, off to the sun and the blue sky and the ocean. But they don't see that it is not like that at all. This is not a vacation. This is a farewell. A letting go. A new beginning for him and, in a strange way for me too.
.....Son, will you come back to me some day? Will you remember me? When you rise in the morning and see that sunlight fall through your window will you think of this house and the baying dog? Will you still make toast and marmalade for breakfast? Who will be there for you when something goes wrong or right for that matter? Will kind people cross your path? Will you long for the creak of the door that leads into the dining room and the sound of the bell that signals dinner? Will you miss the dogs and the one that follows you around the house? Will you stand up straight and become your own person now? I will all good things for you and everything possible that brings you to this time, the accumulation of your life, to stick with you like the velvet darkness outside but this time, there will be so many more stars wrapped into the folds that will enable you to shine and sparkle into the days to come and the long, unseen road. You just have to find them.