You know the color of sun reflecting on water (fresh) about 6:30 on a June late afternoon? Yeah. That color. Goldy yellow. Imagine that color on near one hundred plus pounds of being, drenched in sun – nay, baking in it, sniffling the wind, guarding from terror that appears at the front door in the guise of a Zorro masked. A four-legged marauder or ratty tailed invader can’t get past her pest control at the door. Now. Amp it up to joy.
Joy at being able to go balls-out-to nothing, running with the wind at the park, loving the water so much that you have your own swimming pool where daily dips are de rigueur, in which you don’t so much swim as wallow in the cool – a necessity and nicety all wrapped into one – where you see your ancestry plying the currents before you in your mind’s eye.
Imagine that your Beginning Mother visits you ever so often in a benevolent sort of way, that you never lose sight of your roots, you know wherefrom you sprang. You great her with glee before she comes to the door. Think of loving. Think of routines so rota that they become ritual – cleaning out the cans before they go into the recycle bin, saying hello to Mr. Frogel next door, keeping the neigborhood dogs in check, paying special attention to the members of your extended family that you keep in your grace and help steer with your presence. You are, after all, a Rock.
Be reminded that you too have a child – wrinkled, wary, and foreign, a love child of mixed Continents. She is not to blame for the admix of a foreign daddy and further Eastern mother in her birth. She had no say in her begetting, her getting here. You just know that you love her as your own, your cub, and your offspring not gotten by pain, but by a red-haired woman, who absconded with her from a condemned life to bring her safely to you. Home. Like a loaf of bread tucked up under the arm and close to the heart. Home.
Blessed with many mothers, it was the wisest of these that let you know that this small outcast was your own. Not by heart, not by birth, does one become a Mother. It is in the doing of the thing. She told you that.
You waited for us to be to home from our jaunts. You collected us all together- the tawny haired woman who hugged you and gave you unbridled rides in the convertible, the doting and caring mothers who saw that your aging aches and pains were answered, the man next door that showed up in the nick of time as if called. All of us. You went on to check out the territory for all the rest, as always, our guide. Our greeter.
So. I will never forget your young and hopeful face that appeared at my door those fourteen or so years hence. I will never regret that I handed you over to two good and righteous and loving friends who had been on the lookout for you to come and came to retrieve you with biscuits and collars and without a doubt when I called and told them that I had their dog.
Goodbye, Mary Jane, Janie Marie, and all the other loving names that we’ve given you, lo, these years. I will miss your driveway greetings and the smiles you always had for me. We will ALL miss you.
May there be fields to run in, squirrels to chase, and no arthritis or strokes in heaven.
(Note: Janie was a huge and majestic Golden Labrador who found her way to my door almost fifteen years ago. I took her in and networked her to her new parents – Tary and Karole Peace. We spent yesterday and last night mourning her passing. If you don’t understand the bond between human and animal, go away. There’s no hope for you in the backlog of humanity.)