meghan and i were soul mates

I discovered I was most free in the wee hours of the morning when I would escape the house. I would set my alarm for four thirty am and either in anticipation or fear I would get up before the radio. I would get dressed quickly and sneak past my parent’s bedroom and out the back door. I would creep down the deck’s stairs, ease up next to the house and then after peering back to make sure no one was watching, I would jog down the road to get cover from the tree line. I would climb the steep, back country road feeling the cold on my nose, cheeks and the bottoms of my frozen sneakers.

My favourite part was after I reached the top of the road and saw nothing but a field of dark soil, rocks, and hills. I felt at peace with the land. It brought me a calm I grew to love before the stark realization of how lost I really was barged it’s way into my teenage life.

I would stare at the horizon too and try to catch the memories of my relatives in the vibrant, melted colours of the sky. Sometimes I would stare so long I could pinpoint the exact time the reds turned to pink, pink to orange, and then orange to glorious yellow gold.

Sun would encourage Mother Earth to wake all gentle, like an old lady friend. With kind rays and rolling warmth she would try to help Her shake off the hard winter’s hold and make life again. And for all of Sun’s efforts She would sleep. Lead by Bear’s rhythmic snores and dashed here and there with the slowed heartbeats of rabbits, deer and the diggers of the woods. To all of the creatures slumbered chantings for they were her lullabies.

Even though I was comforted by that lonely state, I was never really alone. I had my best friend with me, a brittany spaniel hunter dog named Meghan. She had caramel brown eyes and red markings in perfect spots across her nose. I could swear she would smile at me with them because she knew we were sneaking around. She would fervently look around and she never barked. Not once on one of my escapades did she give away my presence.

I wanted to experience the effects of decay so we would walk through winter’s crunchy fields, hills and trees in search of abandoned homesteads. Or maybe I was in search of the past but what I did know was that Meghan was the perfect companion. She would nuzzle my hand with her velveted nose and I would scratch behind her red speckled, floppy ears. During these times I truly believed that she knew my soul and I knew her soul and that’s why we were best friends. We were best friends and neither of us were going anywhere without the other.

We would explore the houses thoroughly and my eyes would notice the colour of the door frames; rusted orange and grey wooden beams giving away the years of solitude. Depending on their slant or sturdiness we would either enter or go around the house to another entrance. Peering into broken panes I would see the remnants of former lives spewed across the floor, haphazard shelves barely holding onto their dignity, beds giving up and laying exhausted across wooden floorboards. The scraps of a former rug attached to the posts providing the only solace of human warmth. Yellowed pages of newspaper littered the floor. If I was lucky a daily journal with details of daily goings ons, gossip lists and costs owed to the grocer or feed supplier. The hand writing would make me excited, like I was finding clues to the past. I fell in love with nostalgia at the age of 12 through the simple findings of homesteads of whom I had no idea of the owners.

Slight temperature changes and the lightened sky gave us our cues to return to the acreage. We would follow the tree line to the back of the house on a slight path that had started to form from our stamping down. At times I worried that my Pops would start to ask questions but I think he always knew. He knew I needed away from humans, how much I adored Meghan and my secret of our adventures.

Sun had Mother Earth to play with.
Me and Meghan we had each other.

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