Archive for February, 2014

Yesterday was a grey day.  We’ve had more than our fair share of those lately around these parts where I live.  But I have a dog and no yard so every day, snow or shine, grey or not, I take a long walk.  On most of these walks, I will take my phone, which is a fancy one, meaning that while walking, I can text, update my Facebook, take pictures, and listen to music.  I can do these things all at once if I choose.  Yesterday, I left my phone at home.  And it was great.  I was alone with my thoughts and paid more attention to my dog.   I also paid more attention to things going on around me.  And I saw some beautiful things.

                On a corner near my house is a “Little Free Library.”  It’s a contraption that looks like a birdhouse, but instead of housing things with feathers, it houses things with pages.  Individuals are encouraged to take a book and leave a book.  Neat idea, huh?  From there, I headed up to the dog park.  After letting my dog run around a bit, I turned to leave and noticed a plywood box outside the entrance.  It was filled with tennis balls and someone had created a sign showing pictures of their dog who had passed away.  The words on the sign encouraged people to take a tennis ball, play with their dog and cherish the time that they spent with their canine companions.  This was all done to honor the memory of their late dog, Bentley.  My dog and I continued our walk down to the main park and as we walked by the creek, a car pulled into the parking lot, honking its horn.  In response, dozens of ducks came flying up from the creek to greet the man getting out of the car.  He threw birdseed to them and laughed as he spoke to them.

                These three things were a great reminder to me that humans, as a species, are filled with inherent goodness.  And sometimes, it takes getting past the grey and ridding ourselves of other distractions in order to truly see them.  But alas, I wished to capture them in order to share them.  So today, I set out walking under a blue sky that has made the melted snow on sidewalks become somewhat of an ice rink (warning to you Huntingtonians!).  I took my phone/camera and recreated my steps.  I snapped a picture of the library.  I was walking right past the park as the man pulled in to feed the ducks and caught him in action.  Then, I headed up the hill to the dog park.  And Bentley’s box was gone.  I was upset.  I had wanted to capture this little act of beauty so that I could make this little trio of pictures into a collage and put it on social media to say “Look guys! All is not lost.  Look at the goodness of the human spirit!”  But alas.

                I walked up the hill.  From the top there is a beautiful view of my city, the top of the “M” in the football stadium, the dome of the courthouse, and even the giant metal parts of the steel mill.  All of these make up a town that raised me well and continues to be good to me.  However, the trees have become quite overgrown at the top of this hill.  So even though I got a great view, my camera lens couldn’t have captured it.  And then I saw this bluebird, this sign that for sure we will see spring one day soon.  He flew away before I could catch him.

                Then I remembered a little snippet that I saw, ironically enough, on Facebook.  It was talking about how in today’s crazy social networking frenzy, we have come to believe that we are not really there, things are not really happening, unless we can capture them and post them on our ‘wall’ and share them with our ‘friends.’  Hmm.

                One of the wonderful teachings that I have learned from my yoga practice is that the universe is always sending us messages.  Sometimes she whispers and sometimes she screams.  It is our job merely to listen.  But then we must decipher.  All of these challenges that greet us every day—when we find ourselves in disagreement with another, when a seemingly random event stirs up an emotion that seems random, when things fall into place or when they won’t fit together no matter how hard you try.  It’s my belief that there’s a message in all of it.

                Bentley’s box at the dog park was like a two-part love letter from the universe.  Yesterday it promised me that the world was good if I only took the time to see it.  Today the disappearance of the box taught me that not all moments can be captured with a trio of warm little fuzzies.  Sometimes, you simply have to be there.  In that vein, it seems silly that I say that and then sit here typing words which I know I will share…on my blog…on Facebook.  But in writing, I can sit here and try to make sense of it.  And in reading, I hope that you can make sense of it as well.

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