Even in the trees it would seem, never mind “in the human breast” (Alexander Pope). All it takes is a little sunshine and everything seems to fill with life. After the drawn out stormy days of June (it seems wrong to say that about this month), it has been a relief to see blue sky, white puffy clouds and feel the heat again. The long slow evenings have gradually drifted towards semi dark. Sutherland mountains have been outlined against a sky that refuses to become completely night. Birds sing till long into the twilight. Nothing really wants to sleep. Well, if I ignore the loud snores from the Dandie that is. While she sleeps snug on the couch everything else it up and about enjoying these bright summer nights. She is not aware of the optimism that the continual light seems to bring. She doesn’t care either that my eye was almost taking out by what I affectionately label these ‘baby trees’ on our last walk. But neither do they as they perch snug, not yet developed on their parent’s branches in their own small self contained nurseries. They look almost space like, as if they were the centre of green spiky stars. I did stop and stare, then took a breath and could almost feel the flow of my blood swirling around my body. Seeing nature flourish does fill our souls. At certain times of the year it is even more potent. Today is the longest day, the shortest night; it is special and small wonder humans have been celebrating it down through the millennium. But not for me the wonders of the Callanish Stones on Lewis or visiting the many wondrous woods dotted around. When the birds eventually stop their singing for a few hours and most around us sleep, I will mark this bonnie evening in my own way that will generate boundless hope at least for a while. What better way to achieve that overwhelming feeling of optimism than waking up that lazy, snoring Dandie Dinmont Terrier, put her on a lead and head out into the twilight to engage and make the most of this long evening. Hope does then spring eternal and definitely in the breast of any dog that sees a lead heading in its direction. For what in the world has more hope than a dog getting that extra walk?
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