Still nursing a hole in my heart from the recent passing of my favorite dog, Boots. He knew all the trails, kept all the secrets, moved through different chapters of my life. My constant companion, an every day bud for nearly 12 years. The goodest boy. I felt his last heart beat under my palm this past August and buried him under a cherry tree. My life hasn't been the same without those morning adventures and the trails are a lot more lonelier without him to guide.
This last week we had exceptional weather, the snow is due to cap the mountain tops any day now, so to have this stretch of exposure on the ridge lines is timely. I packed up, layered up, and gave myself a day to hike Mount Jumbo and beyond. I was much slower than usual (admittedly out of shape) and found myself talking with Boots' ghost. I made a habit of talking to Boots in the wilderness, partly to let wildlife know we were coming through, and also because he was my best friend. I felt his presence and we hiked together. Me laughing and crying along the way like a mad and witchy woman. When it was time to head down, my back was to the sun, casting a shadow in my direction. I pulled out my phone to take a video, panning Douglas Island, and I noticed an unexplained and familiar shadow. When I went back on the footage I could see Boots' shadow, just how it would have been.
Cheers to those mourning the departed, may they be with you in spirit.