Beneath a skyscape of stars, within the cool of a late October night, midst the smoke of a hickory fire, I sat alone. Yet the aloneness began to fade the longer I lingered there, allowing my soul to drift into the soul of the universe about me and as the soul of the universe began to seep into mine. It was as if I were the only listener present in this vast eternity and the only other voice was the voice of that unseen Someone Else, the someone else who all human souls have always sensed was there, somewhere out there and, for some, in here.
I must correct myself, there was another heartbeat living nearby that night, another breath pacing its measure through time, a more primitive soul, a simpler soul, a purer soul, my blue-merle Sheltie, my fellow sojourner through this stretch of time. He goes by the name of Bandit. I'm not all that sure by what name he calls himself but I call him Bandit. Through the years Bandit and I have somehow become tethered to one another; sometimes I walk down the road before me and he follows; sometimes he explores the woods around him and I venture along. But on that night, I smoked hand rolled cigarettes and he watched the sparks from the campfire rise into the night sky.
Later when our fire began to age, the night settled in closer and closer to Bandit and me, closer than it had ever come before. This is the account of that night.