Max has finished eating and lies still at my feet. We both stare out into the Hollow.
Cicadas hum. Birds chatter back and forth. Heat hasn't yet white-washed the cloudless sky - its crisp blue stretches like a fresh-washed sheet from horizon to horizon.
A cardinal whooshes from one tree to another, just a flash of red in the corner of my eye.
It will be unbearably hot here later when the afternoon sun turns its face this way, but right now, a soft breeze tumbles along the covered deck where I sit, ruffling my hair. In this morning moment, it's a perfect summer "aaahh".
Belle still munches from her bowl; once again, she balked about even starting on her food until Max was almost finished.
Part of me is impatient. I'm already running behind! I slept in a little because I stayed up late writing, but was still up early enough to walk before the sun took control of the road.
The light was perfect for snapping photos of the tiny buds defying the drought. I knelt in weeds, snapping away at a fresh Mexican hat, until Belle nudged me, waking me from my trance and reminding me we needed to move along.
I suppose I'll give her a break now and swallow the scolding on my lips.
Max finally stands for his treats then ambles off around the corner, probably headed back to the cool doghouse. A tiny wren lands on the edge of the deck, just a few feet away from Belle's bowl. He cocks his head, surprised to see us, and high tails it down to the backhoe, landing on the steering wheel, where he proceeds to sing and sing and sing.
(Probably 'fuss, fuss, fuss' would be more accurate, but I prefer to think he's singing to me. And it does sound lovely.)
Meanwhile, Belle licks her bowl clean, takes her treats and stretches out behind my rocker.
Still, I sit.
A squirrel climbs to the top of a tree, just beyond the deck; shaking limbs mark its progress. Another breeze whispers past me.
I could sit here all day...
...if only mornings could last forever.