I probably should have posted this sooner but my heart was not in it.
On May 10th our Golden boy crossed The Rainbow Bridge. Tucker did not go alone, his daddy and I held him as he quietly slipped away and a piece of each of our hearts went with him.
In our grief we have taken to walking in the woods looking for solace. We walk in the crisp coolness of the morning. We walk in places where Tucker once walked alongside us. Our memories of him running here, carefree and off leash give us some measure of comfort. He loved it here. We are grateful we were at the property when he left us as we feel his presence everywhere.
Some mornings we walk the dirt road upon which the property is located. In our minds eye we see Tucker racing ahead of us then stopping and looking back at us as if to say, ” hurry up mom and dad”, only to dash further up the road once we’d caught up to him, repeating this scene again and again. As we plod along, kicking up wisps of sand where we step, we occasionally capture the scent of sweet grass growing nearby. It reminds me of the baskets the Chippewa women weave and sell during the annual Pow Wow. We look for tracks in the sand as we go. Deer and turkey tracks are in abundance and every so often we’ll spot coyote or coon prints mixed in. If the tracks are fresh, we’ll stop and scan our surroundings, hoping to catch a glimpse of the critter that passed before us. This occupies our minds for awhile.
Other days we traipse along the path on the backside of the property. We hike through acres of hardwood until we reach the two track that separates the family plot from state land. We find ourselves in an ever increasing field of blackberry bushes. Prime black bear country….but it will be a while before the berries come in. We watch for signs of bears as we walk but we don’t fear them. If we choose to go left on the two track we will once again find ourselves in hardwoods. Don will look for morels as we pass while I search for any hint of ground color that indicates woodland flowers are coming into bloom. I am far more successful in my hunt than Don is in his.
But what if we had turned right on the two track instead? That way is best. The berry bushes will once more give way to hardwoods, they are more dense in this direction. Beyond lies a clearing that holds a smattering of dogwood all in bloom. I like this spot. The sun shines down, the cloudless sky is a brilliant blue, and on the air rises a cacophony of birds chirping. But the best is yet to come.
We follow the bend in the road, to our left we find ourselves looking up into a forest of tall white pine. Another two track once ran through the pine, now the passage is blocked by tree trunks and the track is heavily laden with pine needles but we know the way. Don and I climb over and around the trunks. Our movements are muffled. The air is cooler and pine scented. We inhale deeply. Sometimes we walk, making our own path as we go. Sometimes we sit down on make do seats, old tree trunks, we don’t talk, we just sit, and listen to the soothing quiet that engulfs us.