When’s the last time you walked a dog?
Within the last several days, Henrietta and I have been exploring our neighborhood.
The fresh four leg has given me fresh eyes, ears, and nose.
On this calm, hazy, August morning, a neighbor who was plucking and tossing weeds into a wheelbarrow saw Henri and I approaching his driveway. When he started walking toward us, I let go of Henrietta’s leash and she ran to him with the enthusiasm of…well, what better metaphor is there?…a puppy. She jumped all over the man who has owned three golden retrievers since I've known him. Putting his bionic knees to use, he squatted.
“Wow! Big walk,” he said. “How’s she doing?”
“Great! My only complaint is puppy bite, but there’s not much to do but wait for her to outgrow it. How’s Tanner?”
“Oh…you know…old and creeky. Getting him to walk is a challenge. Joan and I wonder if we’ll be up to the challenge of a puppy, but we know we’ll get one when the time comes.”
“On our walks, Henrietta keeps my attention planted in the present. Train whistle? stop and sit Butterfly? stop and sit Cooing morning dove? stop and sit Squished frog goo? stop and lick”
“You’re right! Joan and I find that with Tanner, too. When he slows or stops, we wonder what he’s seeing or hearing that we’re missing.”
When you walk, arrive with every step. That is walking meditation. There is nothing else to it. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I’m reading blue highways-A Journey Into America by William Least Heat-Moon. What do you think of this?:
Sitting full in the moment, I practiced on the god-awful difficulty of just paying attention. It’s a contention of Heat-Moon’s —believing as he does any traveler who misses the journey misses about all he’s going to get—that a man becomes his attentions. His observations and curiosity, they make and remake him.
To what do you give your attention?