Adventure follows me everywhere I go and 4th of July was no different. I just finished cleaning all the blood out of my car. I hadn’t seen it the night before. I had been so caught up in the moment and in the slobber and in how I could not have stopped him from running and jumping into my car even if I had tried. I have been calling him Holiday but have learned his name is Rocky.
I speak in code, sometimes, and this is not one of them. The night was dark, illuminated by the pouncing of fireworks and the billowy white grey clouds of smoke that illuminated in their light. I spent the late evening on a park bench with my daughter, Kira. We found a park bench in the loveliest historic area of Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas. It was a fine place to watch the fireworks. It reminded me somewhat of Santa Fe (except not on the 4th of July) and I pointed out to my daughter that, if this had been Santa Fe, The Ore House would have been on a certain corner and we would have been there on their balcony.
There were still balconies. One above City Hall and another across the plaza, across the charming red brick streets. The one above City Hall was empty but the other across the plaza had music and merriment. I like the merriment. It was not crowded, but simple, friendly. I looked up and said hello as we passed by. It was a wonderful evening.
I sat on the park bench with my daughter. I love simplicity. The last two Independence Day holidays we have spent in Galveston. I had planned to always go to Galveston on the 4th of July. I am headed to Houston tomorrow and Galveston on the 13th. The travel for art is about all I can sustain and I let go of what I had anticipated becoming a tradition. And maybe it will be a tradition, just not a hard and fast one.
Quiet, peace, pleasant people. Historic energy. I feel like I am saying nothing and something all at the same time. I found star-shaped sunglasses in the street and had fun taking a few pictures with them. Kira and I thought about the poor child that had lost their star-shaped sunglasses .. waah! Which leads me to something I am meditating on. Loss. And life.
On the way home from fireworks, I was driving the interstate. I was in the outside lane and my daughter noticed a dog running for its life on the inside lane next to us. I was so glad I hadn’t hit it! It was entirely dark and I looked to the left and could still barely see it. Two second delay and I pulled over on the side of the road.
I will tell you I have stopped for dogs many, many times and most of the many times I could not catch the dog if I tried (aside from one time which is another story). I stopped the car, in the dark. Traffic was flying past me. I looked back. I did not see the dog at first but it had crossed to the side of the road. My daughter and I were cheering for the dog. There was anticipation but not much time for it. For what it felt like was that as soon as I got out of my car the dog had nearly reached us and was ready to jump right in. Add to that the few seconds before it jumped, the hope I felt that the foaming mouth of the dog was not rabies. Surely it wasn’t rabies.
I could not have stopped the dog if I had tried. By nature of helping, I had placed us at risk and there was little I could do about it now. The dog jumped right in, jumped across the car and sat beside my daughter, breathless and panting. We hoped it was friendly. We paused and within five long seconds we knew.
My teenage daughter will not forget this 4th of July. I am happy she wanted to spend it with me. We spent it together sitting on a park bench. We spent it together rescuing a terrified and wounded dog. We have a few pictures of the night including two together. We have a picture of me modeling star glasses. Pictures of the fireworks, the corner where The Ore House would be. Pictures of the courtyard park (strikingly beautiful) where the City of Nacogdoches hosts outdoor movies every Thursday and pictures of our new friend Rocky .. who stayed with us for the night and amazingly has found his way home.
Not every dog escapes death. We passed another in the road about two miles who had faced nightmare. Loss. Live like you are dying. Your life today is not permanent. The life you see now may be different for you tomorrow. The ones you love are not permanent. They may be leaving this world or perhaps loving you less. Love them today. Live the best moment you can RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait for tomorrow.