The years leave me. I don't move through them; they pass through me. I notice friction of days cutting, the slicing and surging of minutes moving in and out. As I slow they mock me by rushing past.
I have never been good with time. Early grief and loss left me without a sense of how long a long time is. Time felt heavy and expansive. Some seconds pregnant with lifetimes of despair. Some years gone painlessly, instantly.
Time is best measured through the lives of dogs. I have lived five sequential dog lives. King (4-11), Henry (11-17), Jazz (22-32), Diva (30-42), Bando (above - 37-present).
There have been overlaps and other dogs. Still are. Sophie and Ava are playing outside; Bando measures his days in car rides. But these Big Five dogs are my timepiece, my agenda, and my scrapbook. They have witnessed my undoings and my reconnections, my commotion and paralysis, their panting counting off the seconds like a ticking clock.
As Bando's days churn by, we have begun to mark time the same way, one carpool at a time, one medication, one walk, one rest at a time. I don't need a watch or an alarm clock. We live the freedom of his waning days without measure.