I am noticing how tall she looks in this photo, throwing a snowball for Harry. And I am remembering when we first got him as a pup and she was just three. I called her my baby zen master puppy trainer. She had a way with him from the very beginning — a certain confidence and grace.
Lately she has been asking for a dog “of her own.” I reply, “Maybe when you are ten. Ten is a good age for a dog of your own.” I think, for now we have Harry. Goodness knows, Harry is enough!
My November Guest
My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walked the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.
— Robert Frost
Two months ago I stopped working at an office. Surprisingly, it is taking me much longer to let go of that part of my identity, my routine, my focus . . . and reclaim my own mental space and home schedule again. Over the past decade I’ve always “worked” in some form or another, but something took ahold of me while I was working in an office for a couple of years and becoming part of an organizational culture — something that I didn’t quite recognize until I’d left it. It was so easy to point to my well-respected, local land conservancy and say, “I work there.” It was so official. Legitimate. I liked that.
Now I squirm a bit when asked, “Where do you work?” My answer is much more complex. I get to say, “I do this,” instead of “I work there,” which is not always an easy thing to explain.
The how and why I got here is a long story, but after a bit of mental turmoil I’m ready to admit the simple truth: I am so happy to be home again. I love to work at home. I say this with joy and also with a little guilt — because whether or not my current work will materialize into income is still an unknown. So, can I still call it work? Also, now that it is summer, my days are very likely to include a spontaneous picnic or two . . . and what would the boss say?
On foot. On skis.
With Harry. Under the moon. In the cold, crisp air that belongs only to January.
I love going out at night, in winter.
It wakes me up.