So we take the shade walk, down Surrey Ct., through the wooded path to Mount Vernon.
When we get to the woods, I let the leashes out so they can run and explore. FanCee likes to linger over each scent. She stays close to my side. Savoring. Moving slowly.
Prince covers lots of ground. Excited nose gorging on the pungency of the cool damp earth, wet leaves, the invisible scent markers of every animal that has passed this way. Exuberant, tail high, waving like a flag.
All of this lost on me. A human’s sense of smell is a tiny fraction of a dog’s. As I watch them, I can’t help but wonder, why does all this exist? All these smells and aromas, scents and traces of things. An abundance.
Almost instantly, I realize that for me, it doesn't. None of it. These scents and smells are called into existence when the dogs sniff them.
I'm not talking about whether a tree falling in the forest makes a sound if no one hears it. Who cares unless the tree falls on you, and then if it's a big tree, it makes the last sound you'll ever hear.
What I'm talking about is God. More specifically, God's presence in the midst of it all. Let me be even more specific.
What is God?
This morning, I understand that God is a dog's nose, close to the ground, greedily delighting in every scent treasure there to be discovered.
And God is my eyes watching with a different delight and happiness, my heart perceiving the layers of meaning, my ears suddenly aware of the cardinal's throaty song in the branches above.
God is the trees around me erupting into the heavens, leafy faces turned to the searing sun, sheltering me, the dogs, in coolness, providing shelter for the cardinal and every other bird I hear at this moment I am too ignorant to name.
Could it be as simple as this? We are God's senses, the instruments of God's delight. We are the means by which God experiences creation, indeed, calls creation into being.
Every living thing is God's eyes and ears. God's taste and touch. God's nose, low to the ground, in loving communion with the cool damp earth, taking it all in.