Greener Pastures by jlsavell
True Story Contest contest entry
The sun rises much later than I do. I fix my coffee, strong, dark and comforting. A daily ritual which is carried out to my back porch. I sip it slowly, while the awakening horizon imposes its radiance upon verdant fields of promise. The dew rises softly from the meadows as it is warmed, giving a smokey, gossamer feel to nature’s tillage.
My new humble abode sits much farther away from neighbors than the city life I had grown accustomed to for most of my life. The clarion bird conversations become more distinct, vociferous in their declaration of a new day. Intermittently, I may hear the bark of a dog, or the cicada emblematic songs. I have become more attuned to the resurrection of nature after a restful night. An inherent order of things, beautiful and calming, which could never have been appreciated in the hustle and bustle of city life. Here, there are no sounds of early morning and midnight engines starting, constant ambulance sirens in the distance, bus lines, honking horns and city service workers gathering a week's refuse.
Solitude has become my friend, for a while. It is the quietude which allows me to meditate and plan, and often times-ruminate over an unhappy and unfulfilling recent past. The decision to move on acreage so far removed from civilization was not solely from heartbreak, but a determination to step away from the conveniences and conventions of a busy life and, hopefully, discover a new way to create my happiness without the superficial moments of: personal shopping, decadent dining, expensive upkeep on cars, and a stressful career. Of course, the two hour commute to and back from work was part and parcel of this life -altering decision. Most refer to it as “the rat race”.
As the sunrise sweeps the moist dew away, I notice him, once again, in the distance. He is strong, muscular, and quite handsome. He often arrives in the same place, standing still and reserved, as if he is making plans for the flourishing meadow he owns.
I am a voyeur, mesmerized by this gent. He appears to be completely oblivious to my presence across the sturdy, white oak fence. In the few weeks I have been here, I have never seen him with anyone. He isn’t there every morning, but most. A few days ago, he turned his face toward me. I smiled. There was no reciprocal sign of acknowledgement, but instead, an about face.
The next few mornings presented a promise- for each time he held his gaze a little longer before turning away. My newly adopted companion, Achilles, a beautiful brut of a German Shepherd breed, rises sharply, wanting permission to run and greet, but I firmly yet gently say no. I think Achilles is wanting me to find a new interest too, or maybe he is the one wanting a new friend. I had resigned that I was not in the market for a new interest just yet. My life had an abundance of love and acceptance. But still, something about him was drawing. I imagined riding off in the sunset with him while Achilles runs, nipping at our heels.
This morning was especially bright and warm. I stayed true to my morning ritual, with a distant hope, he would come and introduce himself. Perhaps he was reticent, for he had surmised this woman had too much baggage for him to be saddled with. Who knows? Perhaps, I was the most unattractive species of woman he was used to. These are the thoughts spilling in my head.
Today, he is sauntering my way, with eyes steady and focused. I smile as Achilles rises to his feet- anxious, excited and uncontrollable. Achilles bounds swifty toward the white oak fence. Alarmed, I run after him hoping his exuberance will not scare our neighbor away. Upon approach, there appears to be no cause for alarm. The charming gent moves closer to the fence. I approach softly and kindly. My hand reaches out instinctively to touch his exquisite face and he whinnies softly. I am in love.
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