There are spaces between the trees, today, where my friend and companion of thirteen and a half years no longer walks. Our Yellow Lab, Serenity, has passed from the pain of this physical world, and her absence leaves a void.
Across that void I feel the echoes of her love. That love lives. It touches me. And, I reach back.
Love is like that. It transcends. It echoes across the void, reverberating softly without end.
Spring flowers come and go. Trees endure a few more years. Even rocks become sand and silt carried to the sea. But love remains. I can feel it upon the land.
We leave tracks, you and I, physical tracks upon the Earth, emotional tracks upon the hearts, and spiritual tracks upon the void. We cannot do otherwise.
PTSD is a kind of reverberation; echoes of tracks from our past, only these were not the tracks of love. I think we can just leave it at that.
Some words attributed to Chief Seattle haunt me: Every part of this country is sacred to my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove has been hallowed by some fond memory or some sad experience of my tribe. Even the rocks, which seem to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore in solemn grandeur thrill with memories of past events…. (I do not use quotes because Seattle did not speak English.)
The wake of a Combat Veteran riding wildly through the noradrenergic dysregulation of the brain’s limbic system, a Dinosaur Dump, is turbid turmoil. It is stressful. PTSD generates more PTSD.
Love is the antidote. That, I conclude, is the whole point of this inquiry into love beyond Eros.
But, love lost is painful. I miss Serenity. I cannot touch her, hear her, see her, smell her.
Or, can I?
Love leaves tracks. I know that.
There are places I love and places I do not. Some places make me nauseous. Some call me back, again, and again.
I believe the last time I grieved a loss such as this, when I said goodbye to Serenity, was the day I said goodbye to my little farm in Cambridge, WI. I lost more than land, that day. I lost all the tracks on that land.
Twenty years I searched for more land until I noticed an ad for this place in da Nort’ Woods. I did not buy this land. The land adopted me and I inherited all the tracks upon it.
A year later, a puppy adopted us. Her tracks are upon this land, her best memories in the woods and water (and, mud) of this place. I cannot own these. I can only accept the responsibility to care for them for a little while longer.
There are many days when I feel I have made enough tracks. Including today. That, however, is not my choice to make. My choices are only what kind of tracks I leave, today, and how I care for the tracks left by others.
Today, I choose love, and I believe Serenity is happy about that. I feel it in the echoes.