Usvatanssin Kennel is the kind of place you find yourself thinking about long after you’ve left, the kind of place you come back to. It’s the kind of place you want to tell your friends and family about, but struggle to find the right way to accurately illustrate the memories. You see Picasso in your head, but your chosen words seem to assemble themselves into awkward stick figures. So you do your best.
And then you take the warm puppy snuggles and sloppy kisses, the lively dance of the dogs waiting (some patiently, some not so much) on the tug line, the thrill of yanking the slip knot, freeing your team of enthusiastic, powerful Siberian huskies, willing to pull you straight to heaven if you asked them to, the sweet sound of sled on snow around a tree-bordered corner, the exhilaration of crossing a wide open frozen lake in complete silence as a few swans take flight, or a herd of reindeer races across the path ahead of you, the expectant look on each dog’s face right before you feed them dinner, the calmness of the kennel in the early morning sunshine, and the enchanting melody of their goodnight howl; you take these treasures and you tuck them away in that special corner, the one just for you. Because it’s the kind of place you have to experience for yourself.
I took a deep breath of reality today as I walked Amy (another volunteer who spent the past month squeezing her own memories into the overstuffed Usvatanssin Kennel suitcase in her mind) to the little bus stop up the road. Squinting in the sunshine, I sipped my cup of coffee as we sat in the small wooden shelter and chatted about what’s up next for her, while I tried not to think about what’s next for me. Tried to forget that there is a “next” in just a couple of weeks. Tried to focus on the now.
Time is a tricky business. You have so much of it, until you don’t. And then you wonder where it went, even though you were there the entire time. But just because you were there, doesn’t mean you were present. And we all know time flies, but to where? Where does Time go? I like to think it flies straight into those unique little suitcases, tucked away in that special corner that you can visit whenever you fancy, a variety of life moments to choose from to pop into the stereo and press play.
If you do it right.
If you don’t, I think you wake up each day, wondering what happened to yesterday, thinking about tomorrow, forgetting it is today.