During my “Ginger Walk” this morning, I noticed. That’s all. I noticed. I’ve been practicing the act of noticing. Another way to say this is “Living in the Moment”. I move in and out of paying attention. Having gone through cancer treatment and a forced slowing down, I’ve gotten much better at doing this although it’s interesting how quickly I forget. So, this morning I walked with this intention and this is what I found.
I found an unexpected connection. I first saw the dog, then it’s human. I asked Ginger to “sit stay”. He called out to me, “he’s friendly!” so I told Ginger to “go say hi”. Ginger liked him right away. While the dogs were getting to know each other in the way that dogs do, we humans got to know each other. He proudly shared with me his dog’s story; how Dusty got his name, that he is a wolf hybrid, and that he is a certified service dog (he opened his wallet and flashed Dusty’s ID). Dusty is trained to warn him if his blood glucose is falling as he is a diabetic. He has a serious heart condition. He survived bypass surgery. He smiled as he spoke. He pointed out the beauty of the cottonwood seedlings taking root and the tall, lush grasses lining the river and the pond. He said he hopes to make it 63 as his father and uncles had died by that age. He said he walks four to five miles on the days he feels good and two miles on the days he doesn’t feel so good. He called his walks “taking my medicine”. He was clearly grateful. Ginger and Dusty sat quietly at our feet. I noticed how grateful I felt. This man’s appreciation was contagious. He turned to Dusty, “ready to go?”. And, we parted. As I continued my walk with Ginger, I thought about our interaction. It couldn’t have lasted more than five minutes. And, yet, in that short amount of time, we connected. Why? He offered and I allowed it. He could have not stopped. I could have walked by, head down and closed off. Instead, I noticed.
Once again, I was reminded that being open and staying open to whatever the moment may bring more often than not brings unexpected joy.
So, look for the unexpected today. I’m glad I did.