I Heart Indies

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Dog's View of Time

We live near a trail where we walk Zoe each day, and which serves as a barometer of Zoe's advancing age.  When she was young, she could walk the whole trail and still have energy left over; these days, by the time we've made a complete circuit, her tail hangs limp and she's panting.  When she gets home she drinks a big bowl of water and then just wants to lie on the rug.  Most days we just do half the trail, but even that is starting to tire her out.  Still, it's her favorite part of the day, and she romps and wags just at the prospect of going for a walk.  I wish I enjoyed anything on this earth as much as Zoe enjoys the trail.

When we got Zoe as a puppy, I wasn't exactly young myself - forty-three or two, but in the intervening years she's gone from puppy-hood to late middle age, whereas, I've moved relatively little.  (I'm fifty-four now, but I'm still about as physically capable as I was ten years ago.)  It is strange, when I think about it, sharing the home with a loved one who ages so quickly, but it must be even stranger for Zoe to share a home with Nancy and me who must not seem to age at all.

Does she think we're immortal?  Is she even aware how she herself has aged?

Of course, I'm not immortal, and there are trees in our own backyard, that have watched my hair - what there is of it - turn gray and spots appear on the backs of my hands.  If trees could see, which I suppose they can't.  Barring a storm that knocks them down, some of these same trees, scarcely changed, will observe me taken from the home a final time, and one day the post-funeral celebration of my family.  They have watched others age and die on this street, and children born, grow, and move away.

But trees are not immortal either, and if they could see the white cap of Stone Mountain in the distance, they might ponder how it has not changed their entire lifetimes, and Stone Mountain might look at the sun, and the sun, well...

In the river of time, we all move downstream, just some of us move more slowly than others.

Meanwhile, Zoe wants to go see the trail again.

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