Yearning for Magic
This time of year in Napa Valley the landscape is dominated by vines seemingly finished; denuded of leaves, browned and blackened by cold; heaving downward with the weight of the raining season on their canes; apparently dead and done. It's all a head fake toward a spiritual and physical reality that all creatures succumb to. But then the vines return to life in the spring…as though it all never happened. It's magic.
Looking at vines this time of year in Napa with the knowledge that they are merely dormant rather than dead has the potential to mess with the cold, hard, existential teachings of the cycle of life: Those that we love most won't find rebirth and not even the perennial nature of Napa Valley's landscape can overcome this reality.
Yesterday my beautiful Kathy made the courageous and compassionate decision to put down her long time companion, Emmebird, a gorgeous Italian Greyhound of 13 years. Emme's not coming back.
Kathy's gentle, blue-coated Emme with the entitled grin and svelt profile has been a part of my life over the past 20 months every bit as much as Kathy has. Where I found Kathy, I'd find Emmebird. Kathy treated Emme like she did everyone else, with the expectation that if she was loving, engaged and honest with them, they'd return the favor with love and friendship. Emme's reaction to Kathy was predictable. The little, lean and bright Italian Greyhound never missed a chance to let Kathy know she had a friend willing to give and give and give.
The irony (and it makes you shake your head when you hear it) is that Emme died of an enlarged heart. Of course she did. What else could this amazingly loving pup succumb to?
The hard part is walking around a home where Emme was once everywhere and knowing now that it's only her memories that fill up the place now and not her. I used to regularly trip over this little fawn-like, covert creature that seemed always to find a way to know the path I was about to take before I did.
The great fellow travellers and important companions in our lives are not like the vines in the vineyards. They don't return after a rest as the vines do. All the more reason to appreciate all these vines as the source of magic and fantasy that they really are.
I wish Emme was magic.