An icy breeze blew by, a little sharper than the last. It was met like it's predecessor with little notice and greeted only by an equally sharp exhale. The two plumes of warm-but-cool vapor that met about an inch out of the nose was the only greeting it received; a welcoming party of pure chemical reaction. Feet firmly planted in the snow held up shaking but determined legs as he took a look at his surroundings. He'd lain eyes on them before, known them well. But it seemed to me that he was for the first time seeing what was around him. Everything that he'd taken for granted, not giving a second notice to. He was the type that usually didn't notice the details of things, of life. He lived very much for the moment, almost in a child-like way, and I envied that to no end. I was always concerned with every aspect of something, sometimes to the point where I'd lose track all together of the larger picture. Not him. Only emotions led his actions. I can only imagine what that moment was like. He was, as far as I know, oblivious to the situation. I hadn't told him and tried my hardest not to show anything except positive emotion in my voice, though it was clear were you to look me in the eye. I've tried my hardest to put myself where he was standing, taking it all in but I simply can't. Another gust, not as bad as before. Not great, either, but he none the less greeted the same way. Beautiful. The things that I was thinking, that he, even in this moment of clarity, was not. Warm air meets cold. The intricate ice crystals that form mid-air, carried by the wind as they're born and deposited somewhere impossible to compute. The snow on the trees, glistening in the sun that wasn't hindered by a single cloud all morning. Inhale. The smells, I can only imagine how he perceived those. They seemed to almost be more important than the sights and sounds surrounding him, us. Alone on only a half-acre of land, covered in a half-foot of snow and ice, painted in beauty that no language holds the words to describe. Exhale. The only clouds that day escaped his nose and were carried off again. The sun shone brightly. I tried not to breathe, I felt I had already taken too much that day. I let the silence of the moment speak for itself to anyone willing to listen. To that time, it was the lowest moment of my life. I cannot speak for him. An icy blast assailed us both at once. It helped in the cooling of a tear coursing its way down my face, but he was unaffected. Like stone, face slightly to the sky, looking and seeing, breathing and smelling, hearing, feeling; living. He moved not an inch, feet firm and stance proud. Another inhale. Out. In. Out. Time seemed to drag on forever but for him that couldn't have been long enough. I wanted so badly to speak but the words weren't there when I opened my mouth, just clouds escaped. I closed it. How do you tell this to someone? How do you explain your actions and the events to come with the vocabulary that we posses? Words can bring a man to tears, depending on the selection of them but emotions.. there's not always a way to convey those. It had only been five minutes, but for me, I relived over a decade in my mind. I can only imagine he did as well. The sounds of tree branches in the arctic breeze, the sun shining as bright as can be, birds, cars, the sound of my heart trying to break free of its confines. It all faded as I accepted it, condensed down to an barely audible stream of nothing. Nothing we are before we're given all of this and it's almost impossible for me to believe that its nothing that we return to when we're finished. It's incomprehensible how exactly to decide just when it's finished. Another wind, I paid it no mind and to no surprise, neither did he. He knew. It hit me so hard it was as if the wind grew tenfold. No one told him, but he knew. I blame the gods, who and whatever they may be. They're no where on his level of thought but I think it was them that told him. He should know, anyways. At least I didn't have to explain it; it would take me more than another ten years to figure out how. Exhale. The sun had visibly moved in the sky, our shadows shifted and he looked at me. I smiled weakly, as best I could, thankful that the cold had taken care of the tears. My face was shaking, to say nothing of the rest of my body. I dropped to my knees, partially because they could barely support my weight any longer. The snow was cold and wet, instantly soaking through my jeans and assaulting my skin with an icy bite. I didn't care. I was eye-level with him now as he looked back out to the horizon. I patted him on the shoulder. He knew. "You ready to go, buddy?" Even my voice shook. He looked at me, gave a little wag of his tail and we headed to the car together. I can't imagine what it's like to know. Feedback welcome!