The cottonwoods are dancing and the air is filled with their joy. Only once in their life, when they are still new and dewy-eyed, when their roots are the stuff of dreams and the tethers of this world have not yet fastened them so firmly to the ground, they are carried aloft––mere seedlings, slight and delicate and as fragile as a puff of smoke––to relish the freedom of flight, to spin and careen as madly as the gnats and birds which will one day make a home of their boughs and branches and leaves, to learn all they can of movement and delight so that one day they can say to freer souls, "I, too, have flown, have traveled across the fields and villages, have known the freedom of the wind and the gift of options. But I chose this spot, for you, and for all the creatures who may come to know my shade and strength, my endurance and the shelter of my body."
Duncan and I joined them and watched, fascinated, as the seedlings leapt into the air and were carried wherever the breath of the sweet May breeze would take them. Glowing gold and silver in the afternoon sunshine, they seemed to flock to Roo, to hover around his brilliant running, red body, singing their secrets to him as they swept past his ears. And when they found their way to me, I did as I have always done, catching and cupping them in the palm of my hand, closing my eyes and whispering hushed and soft wishes to them before freeing them again.
So many wishes, all of them waiting to come true.