August was a terrible month. It started fine. I was happy about how the goats were coming along, and had spoken casually to a few folks about getting them a small, paid job. I test-adopted a third dog as a playmate for Maggie.
In mid-August, my neighbor's dog killed both goats and a week later I went to court to ask a judge to make her keep her dogs on her property. A few days later I gave the trial dog back to the rescue agency because it wouldn't leave my cat or my chickens alone, and wouldn't stay confined.
It seemed like the strong winds we had in mid-August had brought a malevolent force to these parts. The neighbor had thrown a bunch of nasty statements my way and I began to wonder if there might have been some truth there. I lost my feeling that my home was a refuge, felt besieged and un-nerved. The moon went full and started to wane, but the silvery light felt evil instead of comforting as it normally feels. Maggie did her normal nighttime barking, but it seemed she was barking against evil things instead of rabbits. The neighbor did target practice, the same as friends had suggested I do - letting people know that there's a gun here now. I stopped sleeping well. Sleep has always been one of my favorite things, so I felt the loss of it keenly. I was glad to see September come.
And yesterday, while I stopped at the mailboxes on the way home, I chatted with the folks who live there. The husband was the fourth person I went to on that awful night in my futile quest to have someone with a gun put my goats out of their misery. Both husband and wife were there yesterday. I learned more things about my neighbor and her history on the street, and with that conversation I came back into the fold in the neighborhood, on this street. It was a gift, that conversation. I slept well last night. Finally.
The sunrise this morning was not stunningly beautiful like some have been. But it was pretty in a way that seems hopeful and nice. It says, "September is here. It's OK."
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