Monday, November 3, 2008

Sudden Dark

Yesterday, on our late afternoon walk, Duncan was not ready to come home. We'd already strolled up to the library, around the side of the lake, up the hill above Columbine, down to the gray cinder block parks and rec building where the bunnies hole up on the safe side of the chain link fence, back across the park and through the lower soccer field. The sun was warm despite being low in the western sky, hovering just above the mountains, casting them in heavy shadow even as it favored the rest of the land in gold. It was a marvelous afternoon, with one or two stars already peeking out and the wind blowing the smell of toffee and cinnamon. So I indulged him and let guide me across Pierce to Leawood, where he stopped and sniffed at every spot where we've ever encountered a rabbit. He played with Jinx, a familiar Golden on our route and chased only a handful of bunnies under a large, low-boughed pine tree. And even after the sun had slipped behind the mountains and the sky began to turn, when the air cooled and rustled our hair, chilling, if only a little, our cheeks, he still did not want to come home. With some coaxing and promises of extra treats with his dinner, I was able to convince him, but as I sat on the patio outside, my feet propped up on the railing listening to Miles Davis, I wondered if coming home had been the right choice. We have been unseasonably lucky here in Denver the last few weeks, with clear mornings, nearly hot afternoons and mild nights, the kind which allow for windows left open a crack to cool our dreams and night imaginings. I realized after the sun had set and Duncan had finished his dinner (in addition to some of the duck strips Lori brought him when she visited two weeks ago) that the day's glowing afternoon walk will become a rarity, that the sun will have set by the time I arrive home. Time has suddenly shifted and where there was day there is now dark. I will hold the memory of yesterday's walk with me a long time, watching Duncan sniff under hedges, step gently around fences, the sun dancing as it does so willingly across the curling gold and red of his back. He knew dark was coming and wanted only to walk in the sun as long as possible. My wise, wise friend.

No comments: