The Leash In My Back Pocket

April 17, 2010

One year ago today, during a spring snowstorm, I sat at my computer penning my thoughts and Lessons From Cain.

Today was a different kind of scene. Winter snow has finally been replaced by lush, green grass, already in need of a mow. The trees are fuzzy green, with leaves that are beginning to pop from weathered branches, and the fruit trees in full bloom, smell spicy sweet. Birds have returned and their songs fill the air as they glide between the trees carrying bits of nest building material. The trail is alive with new faces that have come out of hiding, and the weekend warriors are back in full swing. Days are growing longer and winter’s chill is fast becoming a distant memory.

A firey orange glow painted a thin outline along the mountain tops as the day began to fade, and a small sliver of moon glowed high in the sky. The trail was now quiet and I decided to take a walk while it was still easy to see. Dusk has always been my favorite time of day. There’s something about that exact moment of change as the sun descends that is so fleeting; it always reminds me how quickly life passes, and I savor each moment.

That being said, I’ve been feeling a bit melancholy lately, and I decided to hit the trail, alone for a change. But just before I stepped out the door, I reached for the familiar blue leash, covered with stars still hanging on the hook where I last left it, and tucked it in my back pocket.

I strolled slowly to the bridge and stopped half way across to watch as a stick floated in my direction. The birds had all grown silent, and without a breeze, the air was still, the silence only broken by the excited bark of a dog from a distant backyard. The smell of food cooking on a grill made my stomach growl, and I wondered what someone was having for dinner. Shadows were beginning to be consumed by darkness, and as the stick disappeared underneath me, I turned to go home. I thought again about the Lessons From Cain…Greet each new day with a walk and take time to stop along the way. Don’t hurry. Breathe deep and use every sense you were born with…I approached the tree that had always been our last stop on each walk and paused for a moment, realizing that somewhere along the way, I had pulled the leash from my back pocket. It felt good to hold it in my hands, and I hugged it close to my chest.

As I returned home, dusk had given way to darkness, and a lone star was shining brightly in the western sky. With the leash still in hand, I stepped through the door, and placed it back on the hook, and then I heard the sound of welcoming paws reminding me that a bright spot still waits on the other side of the door.