In wonder at the spirit that quickens a dog's step, Bailey and I went out for our walk this morning on a fresh blanket of snow. Having been reared in Alabama, it was Bailey's first real taste of winter in the northeast, and it was thrilling to see her take to it -- a chance for me to experience the wordless joys of first snowfall all over again. Everything she needed to know was right there in the snowbank and the rush of chill air up her nose; a world teeming with the smell of life despite its seeming absence, as beneath each downy flake she stood to discover a trace of animal presence laying in wait. She pawed at it and frolicked some, and then eyed the horizon line in utter amazement that the world can be reinvented overnight in such a remarkable way. A shudder of delight passed through her body as she shook the flakes from her own coat.
O Joshu, sometimes I'm truly baffled how you could entertain even a moment of doubt about the Buddha nature that resides within the breast of every living beast, Bailey no less than you and me.