Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I miss Jake

Every now and then I get sentimental. It doesn't happen often, but it does come up on occasion. I'm ordinarily someone who looks to what's about to happen rather than what already happened, so when I get sentimental, it's a rather odd feeling.

Yesterday I thought about my old dog Jake. I looked at a bunch of old pictures, especially the photos of his reflection in cars. I have hundreds of these pictures. Sometimes, even now, more than four years since he died, I miss him. I really loved that dog.

It looks like he's wearing sunglasses, though he definitely was not. That's Maury Elementary School behind him, and me reflected in the door handle.

What brought up the sentimental feelings? A part of it is that in DC, summer is waning. The energy is beginning to pull itself inwards and downwards. It's subtle at this point, but noticeable. We are no longer in the opening, blossoming, expansive part of summer. Brother Sun has passed his peak. The days are definitely shorter and the shadows in the front of the chateau are creeping northwards.

I'm seeing pods, seeds and berries forming in the green world. The leaf canopy is looking a little bit haggard, just a little, but it is starting to sag. The cicadas and crickets are singing their sad songs. At night their serenades are really loud, as is appropriate in August. And the mosquitoes are getting aggressive in ways they aren't earlier in the season. I'm seeing lots of wasps, too, a sure sign that fall is just around the corner.

I'm out there every day, looking for signs of the shifting season because I depend on the shifting seasons. The turning wheel of the solar year helps me feel grounded and oriented. It helps me make sense of my moods, sleep patterns, appetite, dreams and patterns of thought. I may not enjoy the hottest summer days or the coldest winter days, but I believe these conditions are important, that they set me straight in space/time.

Melancholy and sentimentality are - in the Reyaverse - a part of autumn. It's appropriate to get all misty about Jake right now, even though it isn't characteristic. It means I'm prepared to dance in shamanic alignment with the season ahead.

Ironic as it is, thinking ahead in August involves thinking back to what once was. Yes it is paradoxical. August is paradoxical, it surely is. Or maybe it's me that's paradoxical.

Damn. Sometimes I really miss my dog.



The Bug said...

I kind of miss Jake too...

And fall definitely makes me feel sentimental. It's my least favorite season, really (when I'm asked to rank them) because I spend the whole time dreading winter. Poor fall - it's not its fault I can't stay in the present moment in autumn!

Kerry said...

Oh Reya, naturally you miss Jake. He was/is a huge presence in your life. I guess having post-dog heartache is part of owning a dog. Some people cannot bear it and for this reason will never allow themselves to love a dog.

Reya Mellicker said...

How could one keep from loving dogs? I have no control over it.

I bet you do miss him, Dana. He was a huge presence in my life, hence on the blog.

May his spirit fly high.

Carolina Linthead said...

<3 It is hard for me to think of having a dog, even though I dearly love dogs. I have loved and lost two of the best dogs ever, period. That leaves a mark on a person. Love you, Reya.

Steve Reed said...

I miss Jake, too! He was such a presence on your blog and, obviously, in your life. And he still is, which is a good thing.

(LOL, I just read the comments above, which say basically the same thing. I SWEAR I typed my comment before I read those!)

As you've often said to me, dogs are a pain in the ass. They really are. And yet they're so wonderful at the same time. Such paradoxical creatures.

Anonymous said...

I echo all of the above and would add that the departure of summer -- even in San Francisco where we don't suffer through the typical summer -- always brings out dramatic and sentimental emotions for me. In some ways it's more dramatic that New Year's since I consider the arrival of fall the arrival of a true new year.

I enjoyed your stories about Jake and sharing of his loss honestly and profoundly. I'm reminded that with the arrival of fall I have committed to visit your blog and other favorites again more regularly and to put more on my own again. Not exactly a return to the old but some of the old routines.

Trinity said...

I know how you feel Reya. There are places around this district that I haven't gone back to for years because I associate going to them with my little black soul mate who died at nearly 16 years old a few years ago. I always felt we were very similar, both crazy fire signs who loved exploring.
I adore all dogs and feel they are the most noble creatures, and some of them are hilarious. They are also so incredibly forgiving of our human short comings.