Autumn Reflection

Autumn in Vermont
(photo credit: Jason H. Clark)

Time tipped into a new season this week and summer was gone. It was a summer of waiting and unanswered questions.

First we waited for the rain to stop. Then we looked for signs of life in the economy. All the while, I watched my much loved dog slide further and further into incapacity, unsure about when it will be the right time to let go.

I’ve imagined the right time will be when she can no longer get up. When I come down to her in the morning (her days of climbing the stairs to sleep beside our bed are long gone), she isn’t ready and waiting for me to feed her. She lifts her head and looks at me without recognition. But once awareness dawns, she still rises, slowly. I help her up and coax her to the kitchen. Her once-graceful tail now permanently curved down between her legs and bedraggled. I don’t know if I can bear to see her lie down and stay there.

So many people have told me this summer that when the time comes, I will know. Instantly. The time hasn’t come. It’s autumn and I’m still waiting.