Cindy stepped out into her back yard with her Great Dane. Captain went to the right to relieve himself near the bushes and Cindy turned to her left. She didn’t have much of a backyard. It was mostly a patio with a little grass off to the other side of the house for the dog. A wooden gate separated the back from the front and a wooden railing did the job on the left side of the house. The house was atop a hill and without the railing, Cindy would plummet off her patio into a cluster of bushes below.
She rested her elbows on the railing and leaned forward against it. Her gaze shifted up through the trees and toward the sky. There were a lot of trees surrounding her house, but, if she stood in this exact spot, there was an opening between the trees and their branches where she could look onward at the sky all the way down to the end of her street.
It was the beginning of July and it was just about 8:30 pm. The air was thick and warm though it was semi-cool down soon enough. The sun lowered itself down on the horizon.
Captain trotted toward his master and stood beside her. Cindy was small while her Great Dane was rather large. When standing, the top of Captain’s head was at Cindy’s chest. She moved her arm off the railing and placed it on Captain’s back stroking him gently.
Cindy looked back to the sky. The sun was no longer shining as it was just about set. It illuminated the rest of the sky, the clouds wispy and swirling like cotton candy. A pastel pink hue radiated the sky, a darker pink mixed with orange lining the horizon where the sun disappeared. The swirling colors got darker before they disappeared. Cindy smiled as she watched the colors change and vanish before her eyes.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it, Captain?”
He sat down looking up at his owner. Cindy stroked under his chin.
“I look forward to this part of the day every day. It doesn’t matter if I’ve had a good day or a bad one. This,” Cindy pointed to the sky with her other hand, “this right here puts everything into perspective.”
Captain moaned, his back leg thumping as Cindy continued to scratch under his chin.
“We really are specks in this world, Captain. There are so many bigger and greater things out there. This is why we need to take care of each other. Take care of the earth.”
She stopped stroking Captain and the pup turned back around and trotted to the other side of the yard. He picked up a bone and laid down, chewing on it. Cindy chuckled to herself as she watched him settle down on the stone. She turned back to the sky. The sunset was just about complete.
“It’s so quiet. So peaceful.” Cindy whispered to herself. She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath through her nose.
One more moment of solitude and then the back storm door opened wide whacking Cindy in the back. Her eyes shot open as she was pushed forward. She grabbed onto the railing for balance.
“Oh, sorry Cind. I didn’t know you were right there. What are you doing?”
Cindy let out an exasperated sigh at her brother. “I’m just watching the sun set, Roger.”
“Oh,” he replied. “Well, mom wants you to do the dishes.”
“Does she, though?” Cindy raised an eyebrow. “Or did she ask you to do them and you’re pretending she asked you to ask me.”
Roger pressed his lips together into a smirk. “Touché,” he said as he headed back inside and closed the door behind him.
Cindy shook her head in annoyance. She looked back to the sun set. But it had already gone. The left over clouds were gray again and the bright sky had turned dark. Captain padded up to her again and sat down.
“Let’s go inside, Captain,” Cindy said. “The show is over. Until tomorrow evening.”