I just wanted to sit on the back deck with the dogs, look out over the bean field at the Midwest horizon, and cry until my heart turned dry and cracked like the parched August earth.
It was the final farewell. The home I had created with colors and soft carpet, filled with my laughter and love, and adorned with books and exotic memorabilia was now void of my things, my songs now silenced, and the doors now locked. The dogs I had trained, fed, walked with, traveled with, and oh yes, cuddled with on so many cold and lonely nights were anxiously hoping I would take them on another drive. They didn’t know I would not return. Oh, how I wanted to sit with them on that deck and be showered by their kisses and knocked over by their clumsy competition to be the most dominate one in my space.
I wanted that. Their kisses would make the drying of my heart take more time, but I didn’t care – I wanted the opportunity to indulge in the full sensation of lurching emotions. I wanted to sit there on the deck and love on the dogs one last time without the watchful eye of my abuser. I wanted to survey the land I had loved and weep freely as my eyes lingered on the weed-choked garden, the shed that was to become my outdoor kitchen, not cluttered with broken machinery and debris like any other white trash back yard, and the remnants of my holy space. Oh, my holy space! Now abandoned, it lay dead like a rotting carcass in the desert. The circle where my tipi once stood so perfectly mirrored the abandonment of my heart and my marriage. The walkway I had created to the entrance with small garden stones was barely visible through the stubborn stance of unwelcome weeds. The prayer rocks I had painted were scattered about like trash, and the floor I had prepared covered the fire pit and alter like a grave blanket.
I wanted to spend time with that space, my memories, and my dreams, expressing my sorrow, asking for forgiveness. I wanted that, but could not have it for the hawk eyes of my estranged husband hovered over me.