We walked out the front door of my apartment building. The sky had not yet opened itself to the morning light. The darkness hung over us, our way lighted by the soft orange light of the street lamps in the park across the street. With ice chest and an assortment of bags in our hands, we made our way down the driveway toward her car. I looked up at the river bank and noticed the familiar orange triangular shape of a fox's head and quietly stopped. She took two more steps and stopped, looking back at me for an explanation. I pointed to the fox and whispered, "Look. The fox is on the river bank. It's the first time I've seen her this far up the path. I think she came to say hi to you."
We watched for awhile and walked on to the car. With her things loaded and the car door open, I reached for a hug and we embraced for a long time before she got in the car to leave. I stood in the street watching as she turned her car around and headed out. A knot formed in my stomach when she drove away.
Two days. We'd had two whole days together, and she stepped in with such ease and comfort that it felt like she'd always been there. They were days filled with grocery shopping and movies, a walk in the park and breakfast out. She sat at the breakfast bar Sunday afternoon and watched me while I prepared dinner for some friends who joined us Sunday evening. Laughter and conversation and comfortable silence filled the house all weekend. I can think of a thousand ways we could have spent the weekend and it would have been as good, but I can't think of anyway we could have made it better. She agrees. It was full of those things that infuse life with joy. We both felt it.
And I've been wondering all week why the fox came to see us. She seems to come at moments of significance. Her presence has been so frequent and common this spring and summer that I shouldn't be surprised, but seeing her on Monday morning felt magical. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think she showed herself to us for a reason, but it is not for me to impose the meaning I desire, though that temptation is strong. What does it mean when the animal of the "between times and places" comes as we part ways for yet another week, holding each other one more time, trying to make it last until we're together again the next weekend?