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QUINTESSENCE

Wherever You Are

“Remember every new beginning is some beginning’s end…”
- “Welcome to Wherever You Are,” Bon Jovi, Have a Nice Day, 2005

A bright morning, a blue enamel sky. Duff and I head off down the bluff trails before the heat of the day, when cool shadows lie deep in the valley. We walk in solitude for awhile, his nose deep in the fresh morning scents of wildlife and grasses, mine in the clouds. We are earlier than the usual fleet-footed trail runners, the occasional mountain biker. We have the world to ourselves.

The fresh air feels cool on my cheek. Stalks of larkspur whip against my shins. I let the dog run up ahead, and then we pause at the bluff, side by side. I look at my Scottie, more the color of the cream in cappuccino actually. His joy in the moment is evident, his acceptance of the sovereign right to be happy, infectious. How wise, this stocky, oratorio Falstaff of a dog; a noble beast, if vertically challenged and with a head shaped like a mailbox. I laugh. We stand on a high ledge, surveying the rumpled hills of the valley. The morning expands across the land in utter perfection.

“Walk on,” I say to McDuff, and he trots off, tail high.

William Carlos Williams, the poet, admonished, “Beware the writer who does not walk, for in long walks great thought problems resolve.” Whether wrestling with words on the page or life itself, the trails bring clarity, peace. My ear buds are in as my iPod scrolls randomly through its play list. Suddenly a song by Bon Jovi comes on, “Welcome to Wherever You Are.” The words and music mesh with the beat of my heart, the rhythm of my body. I feel shift. Real shift, inside. The words are an anthem of sorts: take courage, life is a bumpy ride, hold to your dreams. Wherever you are is where you are meant to be - whatever that place may look or feel like. The words say, wait, just wait, you’re perfect as you are, your dreams are yet to be.

As I come out of the woods into the sunshine I realize I have found what I need for this day. Welcome to wherever you are.

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