She drags herself on her belly. Her legs are too weak so she crawls on the sand, her arms doing most of the work. After a few yards she stops and breathes heavily. She turns her head to the right, towards me. Our eyes meet. Gathering her strength, she starts moving again, slowly but steadily. I walk next to her, our paths drawing parallel lines in the sand. She pauses again, panting. Her whiskers follow the pulsation of her chest. Inhale. Exhale. I crouch and take several deep breaths as well. She looks at me with soft black eyes. My presence doesn’t bother her. She likes the moral support. She knows I’m enjoying her company without asking anything in return. She resumes her motion, oscillating from side to side as she crawls and hops forward. She pauses one last time, fills her lungs and turns to me before the final stretch to the sea. A few more clumsy hops… She dives. The Pacific Ocean embraces her body and she glides away in a fluid and effortless motion. Home.
One day when the path gets tough I will think of her, take a deep breath and walk on.