The heat and humidity in my area the past week have caused me to rearrange my running and biking schedule to avoid illness or injury. My morning runs have been sweaty yet pleasant, and my evening bike rides have allowed me to see some colorful sunsets. I have noticed that I need to wait a little longer for the sun to rise each day, and must get ready to bike a few minutes earlier each evening.
Though we still have forty-two days left in the summer season in my area, it is obvious that the daylight hours are dwindling down. In a way, this is sad for me because I thoroughly enjoy being outdoors. Conversely, it is good that I come in the house a bit earlier each night to attend to other responsibilities and maybe even get a few extra minutes of rest.
Along with the decreased amount of daylight, I have observed a shifting of the sun’s position at dawn and dusk. At the peak of summer, the sun rose in the far northeast corner of the fields around my house. The sun has now shifted to the right before me and is closer to due east at daybreak.
The sunsets of summer’s peak were to the far northwest of my property, easily visible from most points in my yard. Now, the sunset is almost due west and not as visible behind the tall trees across from my house.
As I ran, biked, and watched my surroundings this past week, I noticed a sense of loss in the light and activities that make summer so invigorating. However, unlike past years, I did not get discouraged. Actually, the challenge of rearranging my running, biking, and other activities to fit the daylight hours has opened my mind and allowed me to see things from a different perspective. This perspective in turn has helped deal with other changes in life and within my household.
Shifts in Life
The most difficult life change has been the loss of my dog, Luke. He got sick early in July and had been under veterinary care. On July 28, x-rays revealed a large mass and fluid in his left lung. Bloodwork taken indicated no signs of organ issues, so we were encouraged.
On Tuesday, August 2, he snuck into the bathroom, stole the toilet paper off the holder, and made streamers to decorate his crate. When I asked him what he was doing, he gave me a big smile, for making streamers with toilet paper was one of his most favorite activities, along with unhooking himself from his lead and running through the neighborhood.
Sadly, he awoke Wednesday morning not feeling well. I called the vet and we agreed to monitor him. He was very sick on Thursday, so I called the vet with an update of his symptoms and behavior. We agreed we could not let this continue, given the severity of his symptoms. Luke went to heaven shortly after 9:15 PM on August 4. I sat by his side, reflecting on the events of the past days, months, and years. The tears flowed heavily, for we had shared a lot through life’s storms.
Sorting It All Out
So, the past week has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride through the light of life. The morning sun offers hope and energy as the clouds in the sky shift position. The sound of silence in the early morning and late evening hours offer space to sort thoughts, feelings, and events. In between, all the hustle and bustle of life push the mind, body, and soul forward.
Moving forward without Luke physically present feels very strange. Always a proverbial bull in the China shop, nothing stopped him from living life the way he wanted. The little guy left a huge hole in my heart, but I am fortunate to have my dog Sadie with me, along with my faith in time healing the hurt, and hope that we will find another canine companion with which to share life experiences.
A late day thunderstorm helped to clear the humidity in my area tonight. Feeling restless, I went for a run and a bike ride. As I moved along my route, I watched the shifting light through the clouds above and the following words, which I think sum up the week pretty well, came to me:
Light of Life
Light of life within the dawn,
Dispelling the night and gathering the stars
To create hope renewed
Within the rain falling through
The clouds of white stretched far and near
As the mist unwinds to make clear
The sights before the wandering soul
Walking the shores to unfold
The miles of the journey made
Through the twists and turns life creates.
Light of life in the silence found
As time unwinds in the river ‘round
The rocks and stones along the way
Mixed with the foam the water creates
To cleanse the dust and algae, too,
Leveling the ruts as the water moves
From the river to the sea and beyond
To deliver the soul within thee by the grace of God.
Light of life, ever true
Able to right the errant youth
And lead the way through the unexplored
Times of rain and thunderstorms
To the calm breezes blowing east to west
Allowing thee to forgive and forget.
Light of life evermore,
May you lead the soul inside to heaven’s shores
To find God with arms outstretched,
Sins left behind after being confessed,
Aches and pains no longer felt,
As peace reigns and hope expels
The dark clouds and the fears
Left spinning around in a current of tears,
Washed out to sea, never to rise again
Thanks to Godspeed and the angels in heaven.
In Loving Memory of Luke
-Lisa A. Wisniewski