Tuesday, July 12, 2011

After the Storm

This week of storms seems unending. I sit at work and venture out every now and then to take a break and cast my eyes to the south and west, along the base of the seemingly ever-greening foothills, black against a treacherous sky, knowing that somewhere in that direction, under the menace of darkness and flashes of lightning, Duncan sits panting alone in the kitchen or on the floor of the windlowless bathroom, his body pressed against the cool of the ceramic tub. Sometimes it is all I can do not to climb into the car and race home to check on him, to kiss the top of his head and let him lay on my lap. But we have the Thundershirt and his herbal drops, and the music I sometimes leave playing on the stereo before I leave in the mornings, something just loud enough to drown out the sound of the thunder. I watch the flashes move from the clouds to the earth and see the gray smear that is falling rain and remember the last thing I said to him in the morning before I left: "Please know you are safe. If you hear the thunder it is only the universe saying––loudly so you're sure not to miss it––that your papa loves you, that he is looking out for you and won't let any harm come to you. It is the sky reminding you how greatly you are loved and nothing more."

I worked from home today so when our afternoon storm rolled in from the north, following the line of the range until it flattened out over our corner of the world, I was there for him. I pulled the blinds and turned on the fan, hummed "Nights in White Satin," a song Ruth put into my head last night, worked from the couch and let Duncan spread out under the coffee table, my feet securely tucked under his soft belly, my toes tickling his ribs while he snored. He did not stir, did not pant or pace, merely laid against me, breathing softly.

After it passed, dissipating and spreading thin over the east, a spill of milk on a vast blue table, the last of it lingering playfully against the mountains, painting the sky orange and vivid gold, we ventured out for a roll in the grass and a last look of the fading day glowing over the rooftops and the mountains.

There is calm in togetherness, a reassurance that only silence in shared company can bring.

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