When I slipped the halter over her head I caught the scent of freshly cut grass. Pepper’s breath smelled of green and summer and long, lazy days.

And for an instant, I was transported, catapulted really, back to my childhood when play was the only thing on my summer agenda.

I remember lying in the grass, looking up at the clouds in that Wyoming sky and reveling in the absolute freedom I felt. I had nothing to do but be the young girl that I was.

It was intoxicating and freeing.

In my memory, the heat of summer has mingled with the chlorophyll-laced scent of newly cut lawn and the pulsing ch-ch-ch sounds of an automatic sprinkler.

And to this day, it gives me a rush.

It’s a feeling of complete abandon and endless possibilities that stretch out before me like a highway.

I wonder what happens to adults.

What causes us to stop looking at clouds and lying in the summer grass and stepping onto that highway of our life?

When did the possibilities change?

When did the highway become littered with stop signs and detours?

And what, if anything, am I going to do about it?

Big questions.

For the moment, I’m going to simply appreciate Pepper’s gift to me: the scent of summer on her breath.