“Whoa Dada, look at Sibs go! Cause see?” hollered the squirt from behind me.
The dog’s behavior had changed, to be sure, but the difference between ‘before’ and ‘after’ wasn’t (if one stuck to the observable facts) really that pronounced. Her turns had become sharper and more frequent. She’d accelerated a touch and added a bounding quality to her stride. Her snuffling had shifted from curious to urgent. And, of course, there was her tail gone wild at chopping and whirling. That’s about it.
But what’s seen is only a fraction of the evidence. The bulk of such a shift can only be felt. It’s like the sensation at the top of a roller coaster, balanced for a heartbeat between climb and plunge. Or the live-wire jolt in the instant she signals you to move in for the kiss. Or the collectively held breath of a packed arena that knows, heart and soul, the game-winning three-pointer, just released at the buzzer, is headed for the bottom of the net.
The birds aren’t flying, yet, but something unavoidable, concrete and ineffable has been set in motion. It’s happening. Now. Even the six-year-old feels it.
I might have answered him with a “Here we go!”, or “Buckle-up!”, or simply “Dog’s birdy!”, if hadn’t been racing through the sage for position. But, then again, maybe not. What good are words, after all, in moments like that?