Took my dogs to the beach today–the old lady Sarah and the young upstart Emmy.
Sarah, a lab mix, used to live to go places but is now mostly confined to the yard – she was very excited.
Nevertheless, I had to lift all 95 lbs. of her
into the back of my Prius.
Emmy, a sharp and alert 68 lb. Sheppard,
practically jumped over us to fit in as well.
They smelled the beach miles before we arrived–
the car fogged up with dog breath.
Out like we came in, old lady Sarah, huffing and puffing
before we got 10 feet from the car; Emmy already annoyed at the slow pace.
30 yards from where we started, Sarah lays down near the lapping shore of the sea. Her eyes and her memories were much bigger than her arthritic body could manage. No frolicking in the surf, no chasing of balls, sticks, birds or sea foam.
This was it.
She could go no further. She lay panting in the sand, staring out to sea.
Emmy, the young upstart whined and pulled on the leash saying without any words – “Come on; let’s go”!
I wonder what she sees, my old friend, in the rhythmic pounding of the surf, the eternal grinding down of things.
Does she know?
Perhaps. I do, and our ancestors knew and we know
that all that lives must die,
that all things flow back to the sea from which they came,
that the best we can do is remember the good things
and not to be afraid.
(For God will not leave us comfortless.)