I get glimpses of my dream home here in Reno. Driving through the neighborhoods attached to my favorite hikes.
Daydreaming about a time when I don’t have to drive to those walks through the forest, but when I can just step out my back door and I’m already at the trailhead. I walk past my greenhouse and raised bed garden to left and my detached studio/office/guestroom to the right.
Walking away from a house I built with my bare hands. Away from my kitchen with a large island. Perfect for family meals cooked together. A place where I scold my kids about their homework. Not that I could help them. But when they do get bad grades or make trouble in school, I won’t take their door off its hinges, or make them wear stupid outfits, or make them write 100s of thousands of the same sentence. Instead I will tell them, “whatever you do, you need to learn how to save and create money,” and their punishment, if you can call it that, will be a book report on Rich Dad, Poor Dad or You are a Badass at Making Money, because if they are going to fuck around they best start being productive at it.
I walk away from this house, because the gift is in the return. A return to a fireplace and my writing room and my family and my wife who I stuck with, even though we agreed we would both be fine if we separated. But if we did that, we wouldn’t have this house, or this family, or this mutt.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about Reno. She is our golden retriever. I named her after a town I used to live in. I still have a fondness for that town. I met my friend Justin then. We still write together a night a week when he is around. He’s a famous writer now, but he still makes time. I’ve published a few short stories, but nothing to quit the job over.
It was in Reno and its neighboring mountains where I learned to really listen. Not just to others but of myself. And of nature. I found a god there. I found the beauty of death there. I discovered how reincarnation is real there. And how we are all connected. And I’m reminded of this when I look into Reno’s eyes.
I know Reno’s life will be short-lived, but I am trying to spend as much time with her as possible. To be present with her. To listen to her. Because listening to her is me listening to me.