Thursday, May 7, 2015
Can a tree sneak up on you?
Walking the dog is my job. I'm not complaining. I like walking the dog. It's the most normal thing I do. Fun too. Exercise. Air. Interaction with a dog, the one sentient being in my life who is always, always, always glad to see me. Often conversation with other people who are walking their dogs though, to be honest, more often than not we merely introduce our dogs to each other—"Kitty, I'd like you to meet Nelson. Nelson, this is Kitty"—and never bother to introduce ourselves. Which is odd.
Still, it's all good. I let the dog pick the route. Often, first thing in the morning, I'll let her pull out of my grasp, go bounding down the stairs and tearing around the house, hard to the left, through the side yard. I lope along after her, knowing she'll pull up on the raised ridge of pine trees between our yard and the village property behind it. She's very considerate that way, for a dog.
So I catch up, lean over, snag her leash from the pine needles, and we traipse into the parking lot for the Village Hall. She assumes what I consider the "Standing on a dime" position, all four paws draw together, doing her business, looking up at me, slightly abashed, and I'm watching her, intently for some reason, to return her gaze I suppose, and lean forward, a little, and feel something damp and fragrant slap me on the forehead.
The fat white blossoms shown here, wet and cold with the morning dew. I had been so focused on watching a dog shit, as if my observation were a necessary component to the act, as if I had to monitor it to ensure it was done properly, that I never noticed the glorious white tree in full bloom—a "Sugar Tyme" flowering crabapple. An inch above my face, my head was practically among the branches. I thought there was a lesson there. It's spring. Look up, and around. See the flowers. The dog will take care of herself.