This was the first morning since Stella died that I walked through the tree plantation. I realized I was about to to this as I lay in bed waiting for the sky to lighten enough to get up,as I lay there thinking about the day ahead and feeling pleased the day would start with a walk through the plantation again, now that it is Fall and frozen-ish, now that the bugs and flies are gone,
and that's when I remembered,
Stella is gone, too.
She loved to walk around this property, loved to eat deer poop, loved to wander by herself, to be off in her own world of smells and tastes. She had her ways, Stella did.
She never, ever listened to me.
We battled about her total lack of recall, and about filling her belly with poop.
Yet as I dressed and headed across the lawn, I was aware, and sadly so, that today marks the first day of the Fall walk through the plantation without her.
Because she loved to walk and greeted each day, each you-can-see-my-breath morning with enthusiasm, and later, deep-hearted devotion and courage.
I miss her.
Her shadow walks unseen now.