The autumn leaves that litter the trail crunch beneath my feet, and dozens of flying insects — grasshoppers I think — flee the oncoming giant tromping through their domain. The late morning sky is a lovely cerulean broken only by lonely scattered cloud wisps. The October air is crisp — like a chilled white wine — dry, bracing, invigorating. I am given a perfect fall day to accomplish my task.
The trees that surround me, mostly oak and linden, a few scattered elms, give way to pines. Now the trail is covered in long pine needles and pine cones. Large birds — falcons perhaps — watch my passing with avian alarm. A brave one flies directly overhead to get a closer look at the encroaching human.
I’m seeking the “Cathedral of Pines,” the place I’ve chosen for Sam’s final rest.
Today’s date, 10/11/12, is one of those dates that’s numerically fun. (For my European friends, I guess it was yesterday.) And, of course, in one month and one day, we’ll have the last “golden date” of this century, 12/12/12.
But for me, October 11th is a sad day, a day of mourning. Eight years ago today, in 2004, my dog—who brought me as close as I have ever come to having my own child—took her last breath. Her name was Samantha; she was only ten.
That she died a couple of years after we moved into a new place I’d bought in part to provide an ideal home for her was tough. That she died a bit over a year after my divorce was final was really tough. That she died only months after the first time my job at The Company was eliminated and I had found a new position two days before my end date was just icing on a shit cake.
Today I choose to commemorate her passing by writing about the perfect day.