I’m lucky. I’m surrounded by beauty and cradled in love. At night the only sound is…nothing. Maybe a whippoorwill or the soft hooting of an owl. The air I breathe smells of warmth and earth and on certain days an indefinable “green.” I have a partner who supports me, makes me laugh and forgives my irritable moments, indulges my silliness and my crazy, roving need to create Something. My time is my own. Our animal companion brims with joy and energy and I can feel his love for us in every wiggle and every wet slurp. I am healthy and strong. I think, “Life is beautiful.”
But then I remember that I am heading down an unfamiliar road. A road which we will all one day take. If we can, we take the journey for as long as possible with someone at our side, but at a certain point, we go on alone. And then I think, “Life is hard.”
I’m traveling that road with my beloved brother. My friend. This time, I am the companion and he will continue on alone. I will walk beside him for as long as I can, for as long as it takes. I don’t want him to go, but I can do nothing to keep him here.
During this time I will be mostly absent from this blog and from the connections I’ve made here. Undoubtedly, I will from time to time come around to my blogging friends to feel the warmth and companionship that has been a bright spot in the past hard, heartbreaking year.
There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.
– “Ripple,” The Grateful Dead
(The photograph above was taken during a road trip I took with my brother in September 2011. A lonely highway that crosses Utah, through a salt flat. Our trip followed a 10k race we’ve done together for the past three years. For a long time I have clung to the hope that somehow we will run our fourth race through the canyon this September. I will run anyway – with him as my invisible companion on the road.)