These past few weeks, many of us have had the pleasure of spending extra time with our families and loved ones. I’ve spent this holiday break cozied up in Jacksonville, Florida, visiting with my parents and parents-in-law, five siblings and their spouses, three nieces and four nephews, and all of our respective dogs and cats. Christmas evening, after the food and presents, lights and festive commotion, my husband, Mike, and I needed a little quiet and some new air, so we slipped out and made the short drive to the beach.
We shed our slip-on shoes where the sidewalk met the sand and rolled our jeans halfway between knee and ankle. The sand furthest from the shoreline was dry, conformed cold and pillow-like to our bare feet. As we walked by the hotels circled with strings of white lights, Mike and I kept our shoulders close to make a barrier against the wind, blowing sharply off the ocean. We walked for almost a mile like that, watching boat lights shrink and fade into the dark horizon of the Atlantic, though we were walking towards them.
On the way back to our car, we passed an apartment with bay windows lit dimly, perhaps by the glow of a television. “Look,” I said and pointed. In the first-floor window, a grey cat curled into a ball on the padded bench. Mike paused on the sidewalk. “Look,” he said and pointed higher. Above us, in the second-floor window, a calico cat licked her white paw. “Neighbors.”
I wonder if I would have seen that second cat if I’d been walking alone. Those two just seemed to fit in a picture together. Where my sight is limited, I feel grateful to have friends who will expand it. I feel grateful as well to the contributing writers and artists of Every Pigeon who show us all new ways of looking at our world and point out things we might have missed otherwise. Issue 2 is dazzling and dark. Please enjoy it with a friend.