Driving in the car today, it struck me immediately that something was different. At last! The leaves had come out on the trees of the Watchung Mountains, making the mountain before me a brilliant newly green color. It created a vista dripping with spring. With weather still cool and damp, the new foliage was brightened by the pinks of cherry and dog-wood tree blossoms, dotted with some whites as well. Reminisces of Georges Seurat paintings filled my mind’s eye. How amazing they can be, those words and images so full of memories forever racing through my mind, when they have so much to draw upon. I am reminded of a life meant to be somewhere along the lines of “Sunday Afternoon in the Park With George” and having to be content with “Cabaret” instead.
When I was a child, white blossomed dog-wood trees used to be quite prominent throughout the Watchung Reservation, being especially pronounced along the sides of roads, as the law of tropism leaned them toward the sun. The “lace” canopy under which we rode amused me then. But no more. What is left of them there is a mere whisper of their former grandness, some white markings on a spindly stick, like broken finger-nails on an aged hand reaching out of the earth itself for something but coming back empty. Even worse, these crippled trees remind me of the diagnoses for terminally ill patients, fallen angels in America, reaching upward toward the sunlight, hands on broken arms, lacking sufficient tropism to achieve it. Today I wonder: Were they ever really there, or is this an illusion or a fantasy under which I suffer? I am confused. Broken and frail, the dogwoods are not alone among the damaged trees one never would never have thought they would find there in their lifetime. The interlocking canopy of lacy leaves, so prominent in Watchung Reservation and once so sheltering, is now breached. It opens the terrain to sunlight more than ever. This may be the result of global warming causing especially wild hurricanes with names like “Irene” and “Sandy” to come through, whose winds tore up the landscape far inland from the sea. So, the Watchung Reservation is a “sunny” place now in areas where there once was so much shade from its canopy.
It reminds me of the concept of change. For so much to change, then all in life must change, if you wait long enough and watch for it. No good, or ill, will last forever. It will be lost or pass on, and then one must cope with its opposite for some time. I am well practiced in change. I never mastered the technique of leading a stable life. I endured galvanizing upheavals of strife throughout. Here again, I am older looking back, determined not to let anything else happen to me that will cause another cataclysmic change. But I am sure another one of some kind will come, as it already has during this past year alone. One being the strange and quixotic man, LT, entering my life, the other being visited by my grave illness for which I am still in treatment, and the other my sister throwing me out of her family. Thus, more upheaval, strife, and change.
Last year, in June and August 2013, I lost my beloved Mikhailya and Casanova, two foundation Blyss borzoi. Like Opal before them, I can never get them back – they are gone forever. I stayed serene throughout, a true test of my inner strength at this time compared to when I lost Opal and cracked under the weight of that terrible pain . I feel as if I have broken the pattern of devastation that has followed me throughout my life, starting in childhood in my parents home by their cruel hands. My borzoi were my rock, no person did that for me. Today, my beloved Paris lies nearby and I know I am at peace in a way that no other person or thing give me. Yet, I must acknowledge and credit LT for his infinite goodness to me throughout this time, almost one year, that we have been together, especially his having stayed on when I became ill to help both myself and my borzoi. LT’s kindness to Paris in his old age has been especially generous.
The future is open: I feel more free of the past and its pains. I know other borzoi will be in our lives in the future, other Blyss borzoi. So, I do not need to worry now. And knowing that, I can go on in the present, going on with LT and Paris by my side, stepping out onto the mountain’s trails with the new leaves on the trees today, facing another spring, then summer, and then who knows what I shall be facing next, fall, winter…. health…..happiness…..being together……true happiness…….happiness again.