Sometimes, when it's dark out, the road can seem to stretch on forever. Nothing can be seen except the headlights of the car scanning the deserted road ahead. The windows were opened slightly and there was a whistle of the wind seeping through. There wasn't much to look at in that old car. I could make out the figure of Dad's head in the driver's seat. He was humming that song that was always stuck in his mind, momentarily taking sips from the extra large styrafome cup which contained a thick black coffee he bought miles back at a donut shop. He was trying not to be a victim of highway's hypnosis and downed the caffeinated sludge.
I leaned my forehead against the window and looked out. Still nothing. The car started making a funny sound. I guess it got bored with the little scenery and wanted to call it a night. Either that or it was following Dad's footsteps and humming itself awake. I don't know how I stayed awake this long. The clock on the dashboard flashed 2:47, sending a pulsating, hypnotic glare through the dark interior.
I pressed my face against the cold glass and I strained my eyes to see if there was anything worth looking at. I was unsuccessful at my attempts. I continued to gaze deeper and deeper into...nothing.
Snickers was the German Shepard that followed my mother around to every room while we were at school. She watched us grow from her dog bed in the kitchen; her eyes always following us, ready to jump into action.
Things were less active now that we were in college and working full time jobs, but Snickers still sat obediently from her perch, getting up now and then with arthritic hips to follow my mother into another room. She watched nostalgically as the new puppy jumped from diner to diner from beneath the table and sighed in agitation when it got too close.
The January snow seemed to freeze everyone indoors the day Snickers did not get out of her dog bed in the corner. She lie there, peacefully on her side, the breath escaping her during a dream.
While my mother mourned this turn of events, she gave the new puppy a rawhide bone to keep her busy while tears spilled from her eyes.
From the kitchen table we watched as the puppy, calm and dragging a large bone in her mouth, set it near the muzzle of our dearly departed Snickers. She nosed the rawhide closer and lied beside her, as if this gesture would make everything better.
In a way that scene is one of the most beautiful in the world.
How do we love SO much when we know everything will eventually go? Why doesn't that prevent us from loving? I know those I love most will die before me and the pain from those loses will hurt twice as much, but I continue to love them with all my heart--why?!
Perhaps love teaches us all balance: there will always be pain with love and love with pain.
There's this old cliche: When God closes a door, he always opens a window. We've all heard it. It's supposed to mean that things are never as bad as you think; that there's another way out of this mess, just think outside the box.
But not if you're me.
Honestly, I can hardly tell when a "door closes" because I'm too busy sneaking out the window. Oh yes, windows lead to possibilities. It teases me relentlessly. It's not covered by a think wooden barrier and a lock and bolt.
Windows are vulnerable and adventurous; covered in flimsy shades or loosely hanging draperies, all of which (mind you), you do not have to close like a door. You can cool hot food in front of it, let the summer breeze drift in with the sound of a rainstorm. You can wave politely at strangers as the world goes by, or grow a climbing garden with the scent of lavender and rosemary.
Sure, it's HARDER to exit and enter through the window, but you can see much more than walking through the front door.
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