‘I am an experiment on the part of Nature, a gamble within the unknown, perhaps for a new purpose, perhaps for nothing, and my only task is to allow the game on the part of the primeval depths to take it’s course, to feel it’s will within me and make it wholly mine’ [Hesse]
Yesterday, the night before, the evening, the moments were so fragile as this vast stage suddenly changed so fast as it always only takes moments. Spirit was missing while at the Cowhead Ranch throughout another get together, a pot~luck and a show. Bad circumstances all around as I blamed myself, still do for it all, specially seeing him right now barely able to walk on his front paws with their torn skin. We are both hurting and yet I do not hear a “sigh”, only that look, that look so hard to put into words. Every situation starts so innocently. A visit to the Porch earlier, it is Spring Break in full swing, there are new faces blending in with the old ones, stories are told, dogs are playing on the Porch even if not allowed awaiting for another incident such as mine, or as previously, to happen, Spirit always on his leash within such public environment.
An old guitar freshly painted was being passed around carrying on the familiar tunes, the beer was not flowing but present always on this early afternoon, it is a destination few pass up while in the Terlingua neighborhood. Some are there for hours, some are for a few moments or till a conversation dwindles away, where else would anyone go for such entertaining time where no care in the world is of a common denominator. Most States are represented always. It is the eternal question “where are you from?”, always hoping I am not asked the same as the reply is just too long and too complicated. Generally it is, with a smile “I am from where I am standing”, the roots have never been deep enough to have had a past permanent destination.
I have had earlier a call about a pot~luck “entertaining” get together at the “Cowhead Ranch”. There are never strict plans throughout the day, it is always a good space to be within surrounded by more Friends from this vast neighborhood we are still maintaining. About 5 miles north of “The Oasis”, it is the direction we headed. It does seem as I am always the last one to know about such get together as again my pantry was bare to participate with the offerings of the upcoming dinner. ‘Sharing” is a common character around here, my turn will also come I know sometime soon.
More Music going on, more friendly faces and conversations, every room was booked and new smiles also made their ways to the gathering. Dogs are running, barking, chasing each other with every vehicle coming in, it is pandemonium. Spirit is off his leash, he has been as such before, till later the last time he did go back on it. He does not live there as the other dogs do and being a bit of a wanderer when others present, it is a Peace of mind. But not this time. Other neighbors arrive on their horses. Pam and Newt, they are part of a Western reenactment show, I truly did not even recognized her. Much fun as she plays the part real well and as Newt does his “thing” as he says, what he does best which is standing on his horse twirling his guns and shooting.
“Shooting” is the part and word that escaped me and this is where till midnight that night I blamed myself for such lapse of memory, Spirit flying off the handle at gun shots, fireworks also for that matter. I still do. He was suddenly nowhere to be found and that moment changed it all. I searched up and down the roads, the paved one all the way to “The Oasis”, Paul and Voni’s house across the road and all the dirt roads within a radius of a few miles. Newt joined the search with his horse, as a good tracker he is, he discovered some paw prints going east, but all to no avail.
A couple kids showed up. They had seen Spirit with another dog where we were just a while ago seeing the prints, but again, as darkness started surrounding us, besides on the road, there was no way for us to see anything into the brushes. “Hope” always comes next, mixed in with all the mental scenarios one can make up so quickly, as quickly as suddenly my Buddy was missing. We never found out who the other dog was, we never found Spirit, I could only come back to “The Oasis” with an empty sidecar awaiting the morning daylight to start the search over.
I cannot put into words those hours passed without his presence. Those hours only proved more than ever the bond we have being together 24/7/365. It is really as simple as that as suddenly a vacuum emerged blurring my way into living those moments without him. The hours passed were surreal as non existent, as this could not happen, as how stupid could I be loosing his care if only it was for a moment of inattention. The phone rang this late. It was Voni about 5 miles away, she had left the porch light on and the door ajar, she heard a bark. Spirit had made his way to their house being closer, he was fine and very thirsty. There is no water in this Desert.
Very late, cold and in good care I waited till morning to pick him up and confront those eyes so suddenly sad, a look I had never seen before filled with anxiety and tiredness as I discovered his front paws had been skinned and bleeding. Limping, he could barely walk. A day has now gone by and yet every step he takes is like a dagger in my own heart from the pain he must be suffering in silence. I don’t think he will be jumping up and down very soon or run as he does every day. I have myself come down with a cold and sore throat, my own body feels as it has been through the brushes and rocks he experienced, how strange for the both of us to be down right now for the count.
He is his own Doctor right now, laying outside on a blanket in the warm sun he is licking his wounds. Ointment is not staying on too long. I myself have slept most of the day. This too shall pass.
Till next time, you be well, always.
Ara & Spirit
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