Shaking things up a little, I decide not to visit the broad trunk of the big pine where I normally sit but go instead and rest up against a small oak. A bit uncomfortable, but it makes me look out rather than lean back and close my eyes. From here I can see the springtime ground is a nursey. Many green plants emerge like the sameness of newborns. They all look alike to me right now.
But, in a few weeks each plant will be transformed by scent and flower. Pale lavender of a bride’s maid’s dress, a dark waxy blue like my girlfriend’s new raincoat, and the palest pink matching the delicate headband decorating the head of my niece’s newborn daughter. Each has its own fragrance. Wild flowers.
Breaking into my reverie—here comes big-footed Professor Skookum returning from his woodland exploration. He pads up to my cross-legged sit, leans in, and rapidly licks my chin one, two, three times.
Wet nose, brushy beard, and whiskers close. My hand gently pushes him away and strokes his wide head as I say, “Just one lick allowed, remember?”