Beautiful Morning

by Tom Swift

The squirrel, my dog’s arch nemesis, showed up first thing. So did the birds — so many small birds gathered around the feeders, on the tree limbs. And bunnies. We must have just passed mating season for we see so many young rabbits on our walks right now. This morning, we had the neighborhood to ourselves. Seemingly. The park was empty. The sidewalks were clear. The high humidity broke some days ago. The mornings, like today, are as close to perfect as we get to experience in this life — cool enough to be comfortable, not chilly enough to need more than a T-shirt. Thank God or whoever or whatever forces or factors made possible these breaths in this place, so grateful am I that I get to live where I do and walk with my little buddy, who is still so curious about the world, stopping us every few feet to smell, if not roses, then at least bushes and posts and trees and a million things I cannot see. I try to feel the bottom of my feet, try to see the clouds, and grab a street sign, and watch the tuning-fork nose at the end of the leash. We take in what he can. It’s all we can do.