I had the house to myself and a car at home yesterday – pretty rare during the day, and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather to zip out to the off leash dog park with our pooch. I used to go frequently, pre-kid, and although I don’t get there much, after this nice lunch time walk vowed to try to work it into my schedule on a weekly basis. It was really good for both of us.
Even though there’s often lots of furry friends mingling and people walking by, it’s a great place to be all alone and just be. When I first get there, my thoughts were all tangled up in worries, fretting over life and work and family, the balance I can’t quite achieve and how to do it all better. But as I start walking, the sun shines down on me and I can’t help but breathe in the spring air, fresh and not too humid just yet, and notice the little signs of life popping up all around me.
I’m occupied watching my little dog prance and play, rolling in the sand and digging in the mud, and I don’t even worry about what I’m going to make for dinner tonight or whether I’ll make it back to my desk in an hour (I did).
I’m alone, but there are also lots of friendly strangers along the way and I make sure to smile, say hi and sometimes make a bit of chitchat – it’s so easy to find a common thing to say with a fellow dog walker on a beautiful day. It helps me get lost in the surface level, the easy things of the day itself; in the intricate patterns of new, delicate branches playing in the sun over the dirt packed path. The soft chirping of birds through the air, the quiet crackle of branches under my feet. The patter of quick running steps as my little dog trots along beside me.
It helps me realize that I need these quiet moments of alone time that don’t include folding laundry or making grocery lists. I miss having think to just think freely and to just be. It’s not something that’s out of reach, it’s just not something I thought I needed to make time for in a jam-packed week. But I’m going to keep trying.