I sat for a time on the curb, a fine fall morning, blue skies, cool breeze hinting of winter, warm sunshine suggesting a summer not far behind. The dog knows my moods, and he quickly settled by my side. “After all, why not,” he seemed to say with his expressive eyes. “I’ve no where to go! No appointments to keep, no place to rush off to, no worries to furrow my brow.” There was a comfortable patch of grass to stretch his long frame. He carefully placed his muzzle on his paws, contemplating the smells of the neighborhood, the hidden code of daily activity only he knows. The sun shone on his thick fur.
Just across the street from where we sat there was an old oak tree. Poised on a hill, its branches reached out over the sidewalk, even the the street. Acorns dropped, one after another, and I counted along. Ten! Maybe more, in a brief span. Was it a minute? Two? Some settled softly in the grass, but others banged the sidewalk or street with a sharp clap. The lucky ones began to roll, beginning a journey that would take them to who knows where. Squirrels were busy, stuffing their cheeks, paws passing over and over the round seeds like some magician polishing a crystal ball. In its stillness the oak seemed bemused, watching the scene unfold around it. Soon its bare arms would be subject to the chill winter winds, unprotected on that rise.
A car sprinted by, breaking my reverie. My dog stirred, opened an eye, raised a single eyebrow. I softly shook my head. The driver took no notice of us, or the stately oak with its dropping acorns and turning leaves. People to see! Places to go! Business to be done! No time for the fall sun or the sound of acorns. I knew I would follow him soon. But the dog? He would stay behind.