There is so much of the world to be missed that it's almost overwhelming. Not just places, but time, too, as the world shifts minute by minute. Like the clouds perpetually reinventing themselves above us in the sky, those things wanting to be discovered at 8 AM may be gone forever fifteen minutes later, their colors changed, their crisp edges or dewy backs altered under the slow progression of the sun or moon across the blue canopy above. Perhaps this is why Duncan is ever eager to venture outside, his nose deep in the grass. These lives are brief and there is much to be witnessed and relished. And so I've learned to walk with watchful eyes and careful feet.
I am a conscientious walker, one who steps around the ants tending to their frantic industry on the hot pavement or along the edges of the forests of grass. In The Run I have learned to watch for stray golf balls, either resting like discarded eggs in the shadows of the shrubs or slicing loudly and sloppily through the branches overhead, the result of poor swings from the players on the course mere yards away. I step around the webs that catch the dewdrops in the morning and under the ones that appear overnight, their single strands, only slightly larger than illusion, running between the fence and the bough of the maple tree we pass under. I watch the reflection of the sky in gathered puddles after an early evening rain and imagine the upside down world where a red dog and his blond-headed human imagine us peering back at them.
This morning Duncan led me to a mushroom, a delicate ghost of a thing, with a stem hardly able to sustain the upturned umbrella cup of its cap and no wider than a blade of grass. I stopped and marveled at it, bent down low––laying in the grass before it and held my breath for fear of felling it with a casual exhalation. Duncan crouched beside me, his paws almost cupping the thing and watched me watch it. His eyebrows rode high on his face but his concentration was dedicated and true. He failed to notice a buzzing dragonfly, red with a body as narrow as a cinnamon stick and wings as green as a Christmas tree. We stayed there a long time and when I finally climbed to my feet I saw that the dragonfly had settled on Duncan's back and seemed to be looking at me. Soon four more joined it and as the sun penetrated the branches of the big elm that rose above us, the air was filled with shimmering wings and lithe bodies dancing around us, strange fairies who wanted only to share in our discovery and awe of the moment. I could not move as the dappled light caught the darting shapes of the things in their concentrated on their flight around us, moving in close, brushing against my hand, playing in the long blond hair of Roo's tail. Duncan sat back and seemed to smile at them, and the sun and the sea of green around us, all bathed in the cool air of morning.