The waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

~ Theodore Roethke


I woke up in the middle of the night, which doesn’t bode well for beginning a long journey where alertness is of the essence. With the sensation that I had missed the alarm, I nearly flew out of the bed, only to find I was three hours early. With the moment passed, my body still reeling from adrenalin, I lay down completely alert and with little hope to return to the land of nod.

After 45 minutes, I gave up and found my dog Kota a willing companion for a mini adventure through the darkness. We ventured outside and walked around the block, me in slippers and Kota on well-worn, padded feet. Douglas had many exciting smells for a dog from Gustavus, so it was a slow shuffle, not that I minded or had any particular destination in mind except that of a warm bed and multiple REM cycles before our 5 o’clock wakeup. Kota finally chose the perfect spot for release on what was likely the only yard in all of Juneau proper with a “do not poop” sign on the fence with the image of a tiny terrier.

Kota and I make a funny pair. We sing and snuggle. We are about the same size. We are well suited for each other. I am thankful to be sharing this journey with such a loving companion.

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