Go Outside

photo (16)When you have a dog, some things are just a given. The first thing you do in the morning is go outside, and it’s the last thing you do at night. And at various times during the day, no matter what else is going on, you stop what you’re doing and go outside.

And if your dog is anything like mine, this is not a short visit. There’s the quiet pause upon first stepping out, where you stand and sniff in every direction, lifting your nose so that you miss nothing. (I should say here that Gracie misses nothing – I just stand next to her completely clueless as to what is so compelling that it stops her in her tracks.)

Then there is the slow saunter down the sidewalk with numerous stops along the way to check out even more smells. And with the savvy of a dog who knows that she will be hustled inside as soon as she is finished, she takes her time settling on just the right spots for her various outdoor activities.

Now this may seem like a blog about my dog, but don’t be fooled. It’s not… well not exactly. Instead it’s about discovering the pure pleasure of stopping in the middle of things and stepping outside. Is it cold in the morning? These days the answer is yes. And I may stand there waiting for Gracie and then suddenly the sun comes up. I know this is reasonable behavior for our sun, but it’s still an amazing thing and it happens every single day.

During the day in my neighborhood, there are always people driving by, and everyone waves at everyone, because that’s the way my neighborhood is. So I wave at everyone – total strangers included. After all, why should my nearsightedness look like a snub to someone I know? And if various and sundry strangers think I may be a bit odd, well once they got to know me that opinion would only be confirmed. But overall it’s a friendly odd.

And did I mention the plants and trees? Succulents just outside my door are in their second round of blooming and the Acacia trees have produced their little round balls of yellow fluff. I am convinced that genetically I am part dryad, because I simply worship trees every chance I get, and with Gracie I get a lot of chances.

But the best, the absolute best, comes late at night when we go out for the last time. My town gets pretty dark at night and the stars can grab your breath without even trying. I can get dizzy looking up. I do get dizzy looking up. Even so, I just can’t stop looking up.

And so I look up, get dizzy, straighten myself out, and look up again and again. Oh, and I sing. Because a sky like that deserves a song… or two.

If you have a dog, you understand this blog post. And if you don’t, how about pretending you do for a few days and try going outside? You may find yourself waving and singing more than usual, and I happen to think that’s a good thing.

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