Ah Aki, look what I’ve found for you. Until now the little dog has been a reluctant companion on this walk across the thawing Gastineau Meadows. She formed a statute of distain at the edge of the meadow when I first left the trail. Letting a strong wind whip about her ears and tail, she turned her face in the direction she clearly intended us to go. I wanted to tell her that that path will be open to us all summer. I wonder why she can’t sense that already the meadow moss softens in the spring heat. Soon each step we take will damage emerging plants and mosses.
Only when I move out of her sight line does the little dog trot after me. I needed snowshoes the last time we crossed the meadow. Today we pass almost without effort until reaching this spot where snow still covers the winter trail. Aki sounds a happy growl and charges up the trail, her paws digging deep into the corn snow. For a magic moment she circles up and back, often leaping, always running, sometimes barking. Then, apparently spent, having regained her dignity, she waits in silence at the top of the small hill.