At first, she didn't want to go. The sky was grey and the world was waterlogged after weeks of rain. "It'll be fun," her husband promised as they pulled on wellies and buttoned their coats. "The dog will love it. You'll love it."
The park was close and they walked the path around the pond with the dog between them, behind them, then pulling them forward, tugging against the restraint of the lead. When the dog wandered off the pavement and ran along to investigate a scent, her paws kicked up bits of turf and left small imprints in the mud. "We'll have to put her in the shower," the wife said. "The towels will need bleaching again."
The fog was heavy and trees loomed through the mist like ghosts. "I love how green the world looks against a grey sky," he said, sidestepping a puddle but staying in step with his wife. "It's like they're glowing almost, illuminated from within. You can feel the energy of the green."
"The energy of the green," she repeated. She picked a leaf from a nearby plant, traced the veins with her finger and cut through the greenness with her fingernail.
Halfway around the pond, they stopped at a bench and let the dog off the lead. Together, they sat in a contented silence and watched; children ran through puddles, their laughter muted by the breeze and the backs of their jackets flecked with bits of mud. Men cast their fishing lines into the brown water and ducks clambered over one another, fighting for the bits of bread being tossed into the water by two boys on the bridge. The husband laughed as their dog chased a black and white spaniel around an evergreen and the wife kept an eye on the pit bull that was running laps around its owner in the field on their right. Inhaling, they could smell the heaviness of mud, the wetness of the leaves and the rubber from their boots. The greens in the park were vivid- so vivid- and the world felt very much alive around them.
At two-thirty, the husband checked his watch and then called for the dog. The three of them began their walk home, the dog running here and there, her fur muddy, her tongue lolling out the side of her mouth, her nose wet. Naturally, they fell into step with one another and, as they walked along the path toward home, they both felt glad.
Photos taken yesterday at Dunorlan Park.