‘Twas the week after Christmas, and all through the house two creatures are stirring, and neither’s a mouse. Only Spike and I are up so far, and in all fairness we’re probably not even stirring – more staring than stirring. Me at my computer – Spike at the front yard from his panoramic view in the living room.
Spike, our rescued shepherd mix, is the early riser in our family, but his main goal of being the first one up is to serve as an alarm clock for Pretty, Charly, and me. Pretty has perfected the pretense of ignoring him, I get up when I hear Spike’s nails clicking on the hardwood floors in our bedroom and Charly makes a great show of jumping out of bed with me as the three of us walk together to open the doggie door in the sun room for the day.
I usually walk outside with Spike to greet the colors of the sunrise and to see the squirrels he will bark at while he chases them around for a few minutes until they scamper up the huge oak tree to safety. Charly, on the other hand, may or may not come with us, her decision resting on whether she determines breakfast will be served early or later. At the signs of no early breakfast, she turns and runs to go back to get in bed with Pretty whose philosophy is she’s never met a sunrise she liked.
Today is the first day of a new year, a new decade, I said to Spike this morning when we walked outside. He stood still for a second while I talked to him but then spotted two squirrels that were taunting him with their bushy tails in the yard near the old oak tree. He was off and running, but they weren’t frightened by either his loud barking or thundering toward them. I swear I saw one of them wink at the other one as they chased each other up the tree. Spike’s best efforts were thwarted once again. He turned away and walked back to me. His work was done until the pesky little varmints ventured into the yard again.
Happy New Year, I said to Pretty an hour later when I heard her in the kitchen popping the top on her first can of Diet Coke for the day.
Happy New Year, Pretty responded and then continued, the first day of 2020 and the first day of a new decade.
I know, I said. When I was a teenager in Texas in the 1960s, I never thought I would live to be thirty years old. When I had my 30th birthday in 1976, I said well, I will never live to see the turn of the century and now here I still am on the verge of a third decade in the 21st century. What do you think about that, Pretty?
Pretty looked directly at me and said, I think you must be a drama queen.
“We trust that time is linear. That it proceeds eternally, uniformly. Into infinity. But the distinction between past, present and future is nothing but an illusion. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are not consecutive, they are connected in a never-ending circle. Everything is connected.” (Dark, Season 1)
Lordy, Lordy. Whenever I do pass, I hope I somehow stay connected to Pretty.
Happy New Year!