Tuesday, January 1, 2008


The park was wonderful, completely alien under all the snow, silence and night. It took nearly thirty minutes to tromp across the fields and up the hill which overlooks the lake, and the snow was difficult to navigate. It's been touched by the wind, turned crisp and brittle, and when stepped on crunches and breaks in big blocks rather than compressing into tidy little tracks. It was work and Duncan couldn't walk so much as bound from one broken crater to the next, dragging me behind him. Once we reached our summit I released him from the leash and he ran mighty circles around me, crashing through the snow and ice, the sound heavy like glaciers breaking away and falling into bays. The night was quiet as I've never heard it here, not even in our magnificent snow storms. There were no cars out. We stood over the lake, looking down on the streets of Littleton, still glowing with the lights of the holidays, but nothing moved. Pierce was quiet and still, as were Wadsworth and Kipling beyond it. Only the sound of our breathing mattered, until the hour struck and fireworks erupted all around us. From where we stood we had a panoramic view of balls of flowers and fire igniting the sky, their voices ricocheting off the streets and hills around us. Duncan paused in his gaiety and listened intently, and then, as I was about to reach for him, he leaped up on me, planted his big, cold paws on my chest and jumped repeatedly for my face. I bent down and he kissed me, his tail wagging, like he knew what it meant, like the festivities made sense even to him.

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