Today we stepped out into a beautiful, sunny morning, everything still wet and glistening from last night's thunderstorms. Humid but not yet heavy or overpowering, just enough to bring out that scent I always associate with summer—that hint of sweetness. A subtle mix of flowers and grasses probably.

I look back at some of my recent posts, both here and over at KAGE...and I'm honestly afraid of slowly creating my own gravity field. A dark matter object pulling at the light of the world. Mornings like these...they remind me of beauty again; of peace.

It's been a tough 12 months guys. And for better or worse, beyond whatever photographic insight I can offer, this blog is also a strangely public personal journal that—I guess—helps me figure out life, the universe and everything. A sounding board for the joys, the victories but also the sadness and the pain. It's all tied up together in one big bundle folks.

Last week the kids had a day off and I took them on that hike we'd promised. We climbed all the way to the top, tried to see our house through the trees. We had a snack, spied on a couple of deers just off the trail. It's a pretty steep climb and they we were really good about it. Tough little buggers. But on our way down I took them aside, sat them on a couple of rocks and had to tell them our cat of almost twenty years, their buddy since birth, would be put to rest. He had stopped eating, couldn't walk anymore and as hard as it was, the time had finally come. They weren't surprised but that didn't lessen the blow.

We always joked Pagnol was a dog-cat: he'd meet us at the door, fetch the ball...not a hint of arrogance or that detachment often so typical of felines. I remember him hovering over the kids as babies—all of them—as though it was his duty to guard them. He'd sit there for hours. These last few days, even though he was old and sick and tired, he would still purr and rest his head against mine anytime I'd pick him up. He was still happy anytime the kids came near.

Damn...this is another sob story isn't it? Believe me I'm sick of them. I'm sick of tears welling up and that stupid void in the pit of my stomach, but we can't dismiss what we lose anymore than what we win. And I couldn't let this fade without even a mention. That big bundle again.

I guess we just need to focus on the sweet scents of summer...
So long old friend.

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada