Today, was, what is known colloquially, as a soft day. This means, in native terms, the kind of day that does not threaten or encourage one to wallow indoors and listen to Rachmaninov and become obsessed with all the negatives that shadow your doorway. No, today, being the soft day, meant that all was to be embraced and celebrated. First off, I took the mutt for a walk in the bog. There was a light mist falling but according to the weather guy on the radio a warm front was fast approaching and so all was going to be well. It was. The dog was in great form apart from a pile of trash stacked up in a ditch by the roadside. Some horrible individual, an un-eco friendly shadow of a person, had dropped a black plastic bag full of dirty diapers and stale bread, egg shells and empty cans there and birds or foxes or whatever had pecked away at the opening and it spread out into a big ugly mass right in the middle of the beautiful bog. The dog, given his beagle nature, was in seventh heaven. I eventually had to beat him away from his scavenging with a stick I found by the ditch and he, I admit, walked away with his tail between his proverbial legs. But as I said, today was a soft day, because it is the first time ever that I got the whiff of gorse wafting in the air. I had read about the smell of gorse, in poetry and various writings but could never understand what it meant. For years I picked the gorse flower and squashed it between my fingers to try and glean its elusive scent. My house is surrounded by gorse and of late the yellow is splashing the countryside in a delightful way. But I was never to smell its glorious scent until today because today was the special soft day that granted me that smell. I was walking back to the jeep, up the little hill with the dog finally behaving himself, running ahead, acting like a wonderful tuned in individual, and there out of the blue the scent appeared. I stopped dead in my tracks and sniffed, beagle-like, my nostrils twitching and eager, my head turned upward. The scent teased me, it seemed to drift in and out before me and eventually I was drawn me to the nearest gorse bush in glorious bloom. I stopped. I sniffed again. Yes. It was there. The smell. I don't know if I can describe it and I really doubt if I will ever experience it again. It is well, soft and sweet. It is like golden honey, mixed with vanilla, a dash of a sweet dream, a tray of cookies cooling on the counter top, it is a smile from a child as he spoons the last of his hot chocolate from a mug, it is the way your loved one comes up behind you and gives you an unexpected kiss, it is the way you look out to the sea and dream and imagine you see a pirate ship, resting on the horizon. It is maybe afterall, just a soft day with a promise of Spring and of something else that you cannot quite grasp and it is the way the light breeze caresses your winter worn face and momentarily softens it like the softest down that can billow around you and carry you away. And I doubt that I will ever smell it again.