May 152011

. . . for those who meet age leading a horse by the mouth, each day is a journey, the journey itself home. ~ Matsuo Bashō


A new Journey begins with the wrenching away from the old familiar. Change has come from a direction I am unprepared for. Maisie, my baby, now old, deaf, mostly blind and feeble still relishes to be by my side. When awake, her eyes follow my shadow if her legs can’t and she begs me to be near her.

In the weeks leading up to our departure, she has become weaker and weaker, becoming less able to sustain her body with food and drink. Some days she seems to almost wither away and I pray for her to stay in her sleep peacefully, but then she magically revives the next day with a willful sense of loyalty. At long last even her devotion to me is no longer enough. She asks me to let her go and travel alone.

last breath —

a raindrop sizzles

on glowing embers


As I set out on my journey, I know she’s with me, watching and protecting me, like when she sat on the couch next to me or anywhere for that matter. Man or dog better not come close to us, or she’d protect me with her life. Some visitors liked to antagonize her and paid the price, getting their new pants shredded at the ankles.

She so loved traveling, getting her head in the wind, sitting on my lap, looking out the window, taking everything in and not passing a chance to bark at other dogs as we drove by. She’d always be the first one in the car, when it was time to go somewhere. When I had a pick-up truck, her favorite spot was on my shoulders and neck, where she could have a good view of everything. “Dogs Love Trucks” was her. I so much wanted to make this journey with her that I lost sight of her age and ability to make it with me.

midnight train –

whistling the dream,

that was

Her kinship with horses was just uncanny. Other large animals, dogs, cows and man, she showed no respect and attacked without fear, but horses were another story. Whenever we got close to them she would just stare at them in awe. I was sure, she had been one in a previous incarnation or wanted to be one when she grew up. In her latter days when she was deaf and nearly blind, she’d even gallop and buck like a horse when she would get excited…

I wrap her up in her pooh bear blanket and the next morning we bury her 16 year old lifeless body next to Erving, her father, in the back yard. Certainly the best place for her final resting place, with all the family pets of the last 25 years: our cats Eleanor, Butch, Ursula and Frankie, our dogs Thea, Critter and Erving and three still born puppies, several rats, hamsters, an iguana, water dragon, many goldfish and more than 80 budgies and finches… I miss my special dog :'(


dust settles

in my garden . . .

sleeping moon


May 112011

After driving for about three hours, I pulled over at a rest area / point of interest and found myself at the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states of America. Ironically a town called Lebanon. The marker was right next to a grave yard and there was no shade at all, but just off the parking area, a dirt road led to a nice little grove along what seemed like a dry riverbed. I drove down there and parked in the shade to have lunch and a rest. I opened all the windows and the door to get a breeze through. I sat down to make a sandwich and suddenly I was startled by a bird, swallow like, that had entered my home and was hovering right in front of me, like a hummingbird, just looking around and right at me… I panicked, as I thought she would start flying into things not knowing how to get out. But just as quick as she came in, she flew right out the door again.
For the next five minutes, I sat on the steps and watched this rough-winged swallow and her two buddies fly up, down and across in front of me, getting real close and trusting me completely. I know they were there to tell me something and I got the message…

unleashed …

she carries me

on her wings

May 062011


One small box of last minute grabs, some travel books and my computer are waiting on the pool table in our basement. A last minute goodbye to my home of 25 years. I scribble a haiku on a yellow post-it note with pencil, punch a hole and tie a loop of embroidery thread through it. Walking outside to the Japanese maple, Lisa asks me “What’s that?” …. as I knot it around a branch and watch it flutter in the wind, I answer “You may read it, but don’t take it down. It will wither and disappear”

midnight train –

whistling the dream,

that was


A long hug, a tear, some last words, a glance and a hesitant wave… I drive off into a rainy Friday afternoon. Now, with my new home tied to my back, the road into the unknown ahead of me and only memories behind, the sky breaks open… I’m on my way to new horizons!

spring rain …

the grass looks greener

behind me