- Truth: My dogs get at least two hours of exercise a day. The primary way we provide this for them is walking, once in the morning and again in the afternoon. As a working breed dog not quite two years old, Sam needs two walks and 2-3 play sessions in the backyard per day. At 8.5 years old, Dexter doesn’t so much need both walks as love them. It’s not just good for them but for us too. The physical exercise is good, but so is what a walk does for the mind. I move, breathe, get out of my own head, but also go deeper into my own heart.
For example, when I wrote first thing this morning, I had no idea what my three truths and one wish for today would be. I couldn’t think of anything. I could think of one truth, or one wish, but that’s as far as I could get. Then, I went on the morning walk, and this post became clear to me, the ideas and phrases building with each step.
- Truth: Walking so early in the morning means we see things you wouldn’t if you waited. This morning, we saw two eyes lit up by my headlamp–could have been a fox, raccoon, skunk, or a cat, but all we saw were its eyes. Then we saw a herd of 10-15 Mule Deer, standing still and quiet in the dark. Then we heard the squawk of a Gray Owl, and saw it sitting on the branch over our heads, bobbing its head in warning and screeching at us. When it flew away, to our right, we heard an answering “whoo, whoo” and turned to see two owls fly off together. Then there was one of the beavers smacking its tail. We started our walk under the stars and new moon, and by the end, we were watching the sun rise.
There are a few mornings a year when I grouch and grumble about a walk, usually because of especially nasty weather plus my nasty mood, but mostly, I am grateful. The walk is usually one of my favorite parts of the day, (and if they could write, the boys would offer their agreement here).
- Truth: A walk is one of the best ways to bond. This is true if you are talking about walking with dogs or people, or even about walking alone. Moving forward in the same direction, dwelling in a moment, being together in a particular time and space binds you, connects you, you to them or you to yourself. It’s an opportunity to be united, awake and alive in the world. You never know what will happen, who or what you will see on a walk, and even as they might be alike, each walk is new and different.
- Wish: That sometime soon, you can find a partner, or the place and time for a walk. “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely / the world offers itself to your imagination / calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting / over and over announcing your place / in the family of things.” ~~From “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver
- What are you waiting for? Where will you go? When? Why not now?