It's sunny this morning. No, really, it is. It's one of those rare spring days where the sun is managing to melt away the candy-floss haze, leaving behind glorious clear, blue skies. Coffee in hand, I'm in my garden, plopped on a bench. It's bright enough to require sunglasses and there's heat on my face. What a change from the usual chilly, British grey.
The birds certainly like it. They’ve all gone loopy with squawks and whistles coming from every direction. A blackbird, perched on a fence mere feet away, sings an intricate melody to me - quite a feat with a beak-full of earthworms. I watch it fly off, back to its nest in the neighbour’s hedge.
Sipping my coffee, I wiggle my bare toes letting the grass tickle them. The lawn looks velvety and lush, as it does in spring. Mowed the previous day, a smattering of daisies and delicate blue speedwell have popped up overnight. There are dandelions too, proudly lifting their heads to the sun as if they own the place.
A sparrow chirps from the apple tree to my left. A sturdy tree, six foot at least, it sprouted from a pip planted in a yogurt pot. I recall telling the kids to be patient as it grew. A similar story can be told of the beautiful cherry beside it. Mature and blooming, its branches drip with delicate white blossom.
Sudden panting breaths behind me make me turn. Ah, the dog, my faithful friend. Standing on the doorstep, he sniffs the air while surveying his kingdom. He decides an inspection is due so jogs off around the perimeter, getting distracted at the cherry tree and again at the shed. There's a moment of frantic barking when he spots his arch enemy, the pigeon. Then, wagging his tail, he trots to the middle of the lawn and flops.
I watch him snoozing, a picture of contentment. His nose and ears flicker but his eyes remain closed. At that moment, his universe lies within the confines of the garden and, as far as he's concerned, that's enough. The sun is out, he’s already been fed and the pigeons have been woofed at. What more could he want?
Lucky hound. He enjoys the peace and beauty of the morning without a care in the world to mar it - no thoughts about work or the increase in the monthly bills. No schedules whirring around his brain or fear of distant deadlines. He's immune from the demands of our complex society and never notices the passage of time or worries about the future. He doesn’t even think about mowing the lawn.
Finishing my coffee, I make a decision: if reincarnation exists, I'm coming back as a dog.