What a surprise! During Mocha's morning constitution, we did not walk into a wall of heat and humidity. Dare I say there was a cool breeze, a hint of fall?!? It's much too early to wish for fall-like weather, but this brief respite from the oppressive heat (110 degrees with the heat index) is welcomed with open arms.
I promptly went inside and opened the windows to breathe life into the stale, air-conditioned rooms. Bunnies and birds were foraging at a leisurely pace, appreciating the morning too. I poured a cup of coffee and nestled into my comfy chair to read a bit and listen to the morning sounds.
Mocha didn't succumb to her usual morning nap, but sat at attention staring at me while I read. I don't know about you, but it's difficult to read when a 50 pound dog is staring you down. I let the book drop into my lap and locked eyes with the dog. What was she trying to tell me?
I took inventory. Food and water in bowls - check. Morning treat given - check. General petting and praise showered on the brown one - check. Hmmm...
She broke her gaze and swiveled her head toward the open window, raising her nose and breathing in messages on the cool morning air. Ah...might she be hinting at a romp on the land?
I quietly rose, went into the bedroom and began changing clothes. She leaped onto the bed, watching closely for any indication I might reach for footwear that means "romp!" I silently opened the closet door and rummaged around for tennis shoes. Drat, they were outside covered in grass and dirt. My hand paused over the hiking boots for a split second and she bounded off the bed, over my back and toward the door. This seemed an extreme choice, so I opted for some flats, but she didn't seem to mind that last minute switch. She was up the stairs and prancing by the front door before I could tuck in my shirt.
I walked while she zoomed down the trail, stopping here and there to sniff the scent of deer, wild turkey or bunny. She'd zoom back to check on me and then turn tail and run at full speed, ears plastered back on her head. The lake trail was cool and inviting. The breeze gently tussled leaves that in a few months will carpet the forest floor with brilliant fall colors. We made our customary circuit around the lake, down into the meadow, past The Well and back to the Main Retreat House. Along the way, we found a long-ago discarded dog toy that was perched atop a picnic table. Some kind soul must have happened upon it and placed it there for future discovery. Mocha grinned at being reunited with "yellow duckie," the one with two squeakers!
We returned home thirsty and a little tired, but happy to have been reunited with the land. As I exited the shower, I was greeted by a brown dog sitting obediently by the bathroom door. She was panting and her eyes dancing with bright light, her way of saying 'thank you Momma.'