On The Back Door
The sun was setting in Bethlehem tonight. As I sat on my couch and looked out the window of my living room the sky became an amalgam of yellow and pinks only seen in spring clothes and Easter egg hunts. As I am wont to do, I decided to go outside, to the back of my house, phone in tow, to take pictures. It’s always better when the sun is setting behind the mountains that I can see from steps of my back porch and between the naked branches of the tree that envelops my neighbor’s yard. When I went to the back door the screen door was locked and I quickly realized that I had not had a reason to go out of the back door to my house in weeks.
My faithful dog and part of my heart died a few weeks ago. For almost fifteen years she was the love of my life; as one of my friends so gratefully explained, she was my heart, living outside of my body in another, more restful, fuzzy, and soulful spirit. I struggle with the loss of her everyday but not as much as when I go to the back door, when there is no reason for me to be there barring the temptation of a beautiful sunset that should be photographed before it fades into the evening. These are the things that remind me that she is no longer in my immediate presence, although she is with me – her ashes and her soul lives in my home.
I have long been a loner, single girl who thrives on her independence yet revels in time with friends. Magnolia allowed me to enjoy both. She, too, was an independent spirit and was comfortable being home alone until I came home to let her out the back door into her yard to smell the dogs who had walked through our environs that day and then back onto her bed or chair all the while knowing that she was well taken care of and loved. She made coming home, or staying home, easy because she was always willing to watch the bad movie or take naps whenever the mood dictated. She loved walks and cheese and snuggling, but only for a short time, much as I operate in the world and relationships.
I hate the back door these days. I avoid it because it reminds me that I don’t have Magnolia to let out anymore. It’s almost spring. Daylight savings is coming and as we are so lucky to have in Bethlehem, particularly from my view of the mountains, sunsets are stunning. I will at some juncture once again appreciate walking out the back door to take in the sun and the clouds when they mingle to create the beautiful colorful sunsets that I am so appreciative of from the back porch of my tiny house. But, for the next few weeks, or months perhaps, I will always tread lightly on walking out the back door. Because Magnolia is not with me to appreciate the view.