Open book

We see the man daily on our walk. He holds the leashes in his right hand, two black dogs walking close beside him. In his left hand, he holds a book, his head bent over the pages.

As we pass by, I wonder.

Does the book contain the scent of jasmine? In its pages does the mourning dove appear, perched above us on a branch?

Can he see the tiny spider making its way to the gray-blue sky through the opening in the leaves? Do the alligators lurk in the murky swamp beyond the culvert of his imagination?

When the rain falls, does he close the book and turn his face skyward, catching the cool drops as they descend? Does he hear the hawk shriek outside of his pages as it swirls above, seeking its prey?

Has he noticed the wildflowers on our path have changed from purple to white to yellow and blue, and that they have shifted the weight of their colors from side-to-side?

Will he ever gaze at the sleek-slick backs of his companions, watching the muscles under their fur as they move through the morning?

Did he see the blue heron fly between us and hear the thwup of its feathers as it rose to touch the clouds?

If he sees a frog on his path, does he ever wonder what the world looks like from its perspective?

Does he see the open book all around him? Or is he lost in the pages of another world?

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