I wake up around 6:15 and pull one of the slats in the blinds up so that I can peek through and see what kind of day it will be. I get dressed and go downstairs, slide open the dining room door, and there sits Winnie, tail wagging, ready for the day.
It’s strange to think that when I took my dog out a few short months ago, the morning was dark and so cold my hands went numb if I didn’t wear gloves. Back then, I would watch the sun rising over the Queen Street garage, peeking around the two story houses on Frederick Street. Now when I take Winnie out in the morning, the sun is up, the sky firmly bright, the air warm and humid from the night’s rain. The alley is gray but when I get to the grassy square, the sky opens up into clouds and an impossible blue.
It is easy to extoll the beauty of the mountainside or the trail through the woods or the way the water fades on the beach as the tide slips, but there is beauty here in the city, too, if you know where to look. There is the mother sitting on the stoop, drinking coffee, her small children drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. There is the man shouting across the street to his friend, ignoring the cars that drive between them. There is the rabbit that races along the chain link fence, disappearing through the hole in the curb.
* * * * *
We sit in the open green and the boys play flag football. Poppy is not old enough yet or she would be out there, too, so I throw football with her off to the side, each catch a celebration, even the ones that first hit her in the nose. She runs and runs and I remember that feeling, as a kid, running so fast I thought I just might be able to fly.
I sit in the chair and Poppy makes her way around the expanse of green, picking dandelions and other small, purple flowers hidden in the clover, then she binds her bunch of flowers with a rubber band, lays them beside my chair for future delivery to her mother.
This is life: not book releases or reviews or sales figures, but walking the dog in the rain and watching Leo celebrate after grabbing someone’s flag and finding beauty even among the weeds.