It’s been six months to the day marking my last visit to my very own back yard.
The last time I was back there my first dog, a 12 year old beagle named Skylar had run back there during her morning routine to do her business. I was taking my usual route and walked through the house to meet her on the back deck.
I called her name and she came running up the steps to the deck with enthusiasm and then collapsed, only to roll down the hill then passing away right in front of me.
I screamed out loud calling her name, petting her as she convulsed. That was the last time I stepped foot in the back yard.
My dear friend rushed in to pick her up, bringing her inside as I knelt over her body and wept. That day the light in my world went dark.
The only glimpse of the back yard I’ve seen has been through the blinds. If only to take a glance at ‘the place’ where she laid, taking her last breath, but wishing for her.
I no longer gaze at the bird feeder through the binoculars waiting to see what magnificent breed of bird might fly into view. The backyard deck is no longer a place of refuge. Reading a book on the weekend under the trees is no longer an option. I no longer consume the quiet and the fresh air from my beautiful backyard greenbelt because of my great loss six months ago.
That is until Scout my little beagle puppy of three months got loose as we walked down the hill only to run back behind the house into the backyard. I had no choice but to go after her.
In that moment I was forced to face my sorrow and my hurt as I climbed through the ground cover and the bushes to reach for the bit of red leash within view. I pulled Scout out with tears in my eyes. Tears that still grieved my loss and tears of relief that Scout was ok and hadn’t really run off.
I’ve yet to return to the backyard with a heart that has been made whole. I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel the same about the back yard again. Maybe I will, but not now.
The bird feeder still hangs where I once made a point to feed the birds regularly. The trees are still growing over the deck and producing new colorful foliage. The sun still glistens through the greenery down the creek and the crisp fall air will soon be here, to the deck and the back yard where I lost my love.