It is 2007, and there is a new dock down by the river.
Near sunrise this morning, the Labbies and I wandered down to walk upon it once more. Neighbor Scott and his friends have constructed a plain, sturdy place where one can sit on an edge of wood and listen to the sound of water.
Have been away for a few weeks, and it has been wonderful. It was the first Christmas in over 20 years I wasn't doing eight or more dishwasher loads in a silent house on Christmas night. Things never have to remain the same. I rented a large automobile that looked like a gangstah car, piled the Labbies and assorted gifts and stuff into its environs, and motored off the Thursday before Christmas. We ventured south to see our favorite cousins, then south again to a wooden home with fireplace near a lake. There I helped put up a fine Christmas tree in a newly-painted peach room, then ate goose with a special chef, a man who makes me laugh a tremendous amount. That was my Christmas gift. To be able to open up the envelope of the heart and drop something new inside.
And today, the gifts keep coming. This afternoon, Marg chased her tennis ball across the cold sleeping lawn for the first time in many months. She felt like retrieving. She was well enough to be herself. And she is smiling again.
Leonard Cohen wrote:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
And tomorrow at sunrise, we will walk to the dock once more, to investigate how the water has changed.
QUOTE: From Anthem. Lyrics and music by Leonard Cohen.