Posted tagged ‘winter’

After the dog

February 9, 2010

Now that I’ve exploited the death of our family dog for the sake of my writing, it’s time to get on with more practical life matters. Like the fact that I finally cleaned the house. I couldn’t bear, the first few days after saying goodbye to her, to clean up. I know in my head that I will find her black hairs on the furniture, embedded in clothes and rugs, in our vehicles and in the corners of our lives for years to come. But still, vacuuming up the obvious clumps of her hair right away seemed…cruel. Like putting a needle into her to kill her wasn’t. But anyways.

So. Practical life matters. Yesterday, it was a balmy minus seventeen c, and I muscled my kids out the door in the afternoon to play in our marvellous backyard. I love our backyard. It makes this long, cold winter (have I mentioned how long and cold the winter is here, north of 55 degrees?) more bearable. I’ve built an amazing slide off our railing-less back deck, and my son, the smallest in the family, can slide so far he almost ends up in the forest behind the shed. Yesterday I built up more of the fluffy snow into a bank so he won’t run smack into that wooden shed. I’ve decided the slide, which has been my outdoor winter project, is almost ready for the Olympics this week – our very own mini luge track.

My daughter had to go back inside to pee before my son and I were ready to come in. He likes to play “push you down, mummy” so we did that for a while, then finally lay, sprawled on the snow, staring up at the cloudless sky.

How often do you get the chance to do that? I couldn’t remember the last time I had. I stared up into the endless blue of the sky and cleared my mind. My son was a great participant, silent and still. So was the world around us. I forgot, for a moment, where I was. That I’ve moved to a place where I have no roots, no grounding, no history. That that thought still makes me sad. I became part of the sky, and it of me, and I was content.

Slowly, I began to remember other times when I had lay on my back and looked up at the sky. Summertime with my family. Wintertime in the schoolyard with classmates. Once again, I was a part of the world. I added to my list of things that don’t matter, the fact of where we live. Life goes on.

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