Shift Work

Ah, yes – after the amazing glory of almost an entire week off during a holiday Trooper is back to work. Night shift. Sigh…

Once again, my gun sits nearby, extra magazines with it. Once again, the dog is quietly shepherded to the pasture so that the Master can sleep. And, once again, the dinner hour is late so he isn’t starving when getting to the end of his night.

I’ve been enjoying some the quiet time by reading again, sorting through the inundation of catalogues, and working on my photo collection. And yet, there is still so much to get done. I often feel guilty about it. Laundry, dishes, clutter…no matter how much I try to remain on top of it, there is always more, sisyphean.

For Trooper, there is gun cleaning and uniform pressing, glove cleaning and shoe polishing. Fortunately (if one can say that), he just did much of it for the last funeral so it ought to be a bit easier to accomplish. He is quite serious about a boot polishing – all that water and flame, the plastic over his finger to avoid the transfer of polish through the rag. The edge dressing applied and then the boots laid away to keep things clean.

I was so pleased to see his photos, that perfect state of respect and alertness. An eye that does not see your mourning but protects it. I like how the gloved hands rest together over the buckle, then move in gently cupped folds to the pants seam. And the photo where every knee was caught in mid-raise, even and syncopated. I adore his dedication to the task and how much it matters to him that everything be just so.

I’ve no sense of detail like that except in photography. Only there do I strain for perspective, for balance and shading. I do sometimes miss it, those winter mornings on the trail where it was only myself and the crackling leaves. It was a kind of duty, a perimeter patrol. But it was a lonely one.

No, I suppose a pasture in chilly morning with a puppy’s head stuffed in a warren is close. Not exactly the same cathedral of trees…but a sense of peace there, too, yes. A big wuffling salute to another day. After all, they are not guaranteed.

3 responses to “Shift Work

  1. That attention to detail is noticed by more than just yourself. It shows a pride in duty, a respect for order. I like that.Hope you had a good weekend, we finally got a break and some range time here.

  2. Thank you, both! How I wish I were free to display him in his finery…However, internecine politics being what they are – esp today – it’s best to just keep him somewhat obscured.

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