Sunday, March 24, 2024

What We Do

The mourning dove has not moved from her nest in days and it worries me. How cold it gets at night and what will I see when I open the door in the morning to let the dog out? A frozen bird? An empty space, the eggs like stones? I don't know which would be worse. 

But when I do look out, she's alive, her body poofed up like a balloon, eyeing me curiously. Do you like that I've given her an emotion? Curiosity instead of terror. Or maybe she is determined. She made this bed, so to speak, and she's determined to see it through to the end. What else can you do. 

I play a game each week when I write this post. It's called What Are My Two Sticks.

(This goes back to a theory about writing, that just as it takes two sticks to build a fire, you need two ideas to spark a story.) 

But the only stick I have today is the mourning dove. 

Meanwhile, the dog hurt her back leg somehow and doesn't want to go for her usual long walks. I walk alone. Take the route she likes, the one that winds past all of the houses where the people set out dog treats. I realize that I am anticipating a loss. I was going to say, grieving in advance, but it's worse than that. It's skipping past all of it, as if you can even do such a thing, and come out on the other side unscathed. 

Another part of the game is called Something Funny that Happened This Week. Because you've got to have humor or what is the point. 

But this week there was nothing funny really. Only a few mild laughs under my breath. When I sneaked the dog treats and brought them home. When I tiptoed outside to snap a picture of the poofed up mourning dove. She was definitely looking at me. Her eyes saying, oh, it's you again. 

Letting the dog out. Carrying her up the stairs because that's what you do. 

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