Monday, November 2, 2009

Calling All Angels

Music Playlist at

It was a lonely day. The snow has started to retreat and the sky was blue and warm, but try as I might I couldn't turn the constant drip drip drip of the ice melting off the eaves into anything other than the tick tick tick of an endless day of solitude.

By the time the sun had set and darkness had arrived earlier than I'd been prepared for, after I'd eaten my dinner standing alone in the kitchen, the lights turned down low, Duncan laying at my feet, I felt awfully sad, without anyone to distract me and help my heart feel light. Perhaps its the turning of the season, my first Autumn alone in thirteen years, or the passing of my grandmother, but I felt terrible and watched and listened to my phone not ringing, feeling as though the streets were empty and I was the only one left in all the world. A glass of a wine, a hot shower and an early bedtime did not help.

I laid awake watching the shadows of the barren branches of the linden tree outside my window dance across the ceiling. Pip curled into my shoulder and Olive rested a single paw on my forehead. Duncan was coiled up tight on his pillow, snoring and twitching in his sleep. He whined each time he heard me shift and turn, and finally stretched up, eased toward me in the darkness and felt for my nose with his own.

Sleep was fruitless, so I got up, pulled on a pair of jeans, a flannel shirt and my tennis shoes and took him outside. The moon was bright in the empty sky and because we were alone I didn't bother with his leash. He followed me down the stairs and across the patch of thin ice at the bottom before crossing the parking lot to the patch of grass where he could stretch and tend to business. I watched the stars and began to hum softly to myself, a song I've known for a very long time but had forgotten about until that moment.

Calling all angels
calling all angels
walk me through this one
don't leave me alone
calling all angels
calling all angels
we're cryin' and we're hurtin'
and we're not sure why...
then it's one foot then the other
as you step out onto the road
how much weight? how much weight?
then it's how long? and how far?
and how many times before it's too late?
(Jane Siberry, Calling All Angels)

My iPod was still in my jacket pocket, so I pulled it out, found the song and listened, singing softly as Duncan led me across the muddy grass. The streets were silent and pale in the moonlight and I could hear the drip of water from the trees in the park, from all over my small corner of the Front Range it seemed.

Duncan pulled me through the soupy bog to a deep patch of receding snow and looked at me a long time in that wondrous and understanding gaze of his, and as the song's chorus rose up in my ears, he rolled onto his back, his weight cracking the hard top layer, his stick legs reaching for the sky as he wiggled softly back and forth, never taking his eyes from mine.

Calling all angels
calling all angels
walk me through this one
don't leave me alone

And then, as he stood up and leaned his damp body against my legs, I saw the snow angel he'd created for me, shimmering white and blue in the darkness, his warmth still melting into it. The tears came cold and sweet to my cheeks as he turned and led me back home, up the stairs and back inside where the cats met us at the door.

How is it that with such a miraculous companion I must constantly remind myself that I am never, ever alone, that my angel lives and breathes by my side every day of my blessed life?


Anonymous said...

I cried. Just because Duncan KNEW you needed to be reminded of the angel so created one. How wonderful that is. What a beautiful dog! You are right, you are NEVER alone. There is always an angel/s watching over us. Keep believing in that and give that beautiful, brilliant dog a smooch from me!!!!!!

T(lori's long time friend)

caboval said...

OMG I just burst into tears!!! Duncan IS your angel!!!!!! Joey and Kealani are looking at me "whats wrong mommy?" " Nothing my dear dear angels" "Lets go play!"
Hugs Valerie
I heart u Curt

Greg said...

Beautiful song. I didn't know it before this. I started this post sad that you were alone, and wishing I could half your solitude by sharing some of mine.

Tears in my eyes as I was reminded, like you, that you aren't alone. That you've got a sweet angel to help you find perspective right there.

: )

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

I concur with the comments before, and would also like to say that in times like these, you will find yourself feeling like this more than you'd care, but it's ok. You'll always remember who is always right there.

You are never alone. Because you have Duncan. And because you have all of us in Blogistan. Maybe this won't help much, but remember that sharing your thoughts and sadness here, you are spreading it thin so that we can share in carrying this weight for you and with you. That's what we want to do because you matter to us. I hope it makes your situation feel lighter, even if it is only slightly.

You're in my thoughts. Give Duncan a kiss for me. :-)

Sue said...

Curt, your words melt my heart.

Time for a road trip to sunny, warm San Diego perhaps?

Sue & the gang