I just want to go back to a normal life. This is what I was thinking a week or so ago. Rewind. Go back before school shootings. Go back before COVID. Go back before the meanness and hatred and the divisiveness that is tearing our world apart. Back to when neighbors were neighborly, when the skies were blue, and when people cared about finding solutions. Back to when I was a kid. 

I don’t think I need to draw attention to the fact that when I was a kid, it was the late 50s, early 60s. I think you would be hard-pressed to find an adult from those days who said it was all rosy. No, I was looking at my world through the eyes of a child. A child who lived in the day and didn’t worry about the past not fret about the future. Everything in my world was right here, right now. My viewpoint was as far as I could see. And in my world, that was good. 

The world of today is bigger, with bigger issues. It is hard to stay in the present moment when we are bombarded by images and ideas that present a far less than ideal scenario. And yet…

This morning I took a walk with my dog. Let’s start with that. My dog: the most loyal, protective, loving creature I think I’ve ever known, and I’ve had some incredible dogs before. To awaken every day to his complete and utter love is a true blessing. He reads my moods and will come in for a cuddle if I look down, or move to another room if I am absorbed in a task. He makes me laugh and gives me great joy. And exercise. 

So, the dog and the walk. Here is the other amazing thing: I have a body that can take me on long walks. That can explore my world, one block, one trail, one park at a time. 

I took a walk with my dog. I went by the park and saw acres of green grass, and tennis courts and ball fields. I saw a playground with a mother, pushing her little kids on swings. A man walking his dog next to his wife who was pushing the stroller. Under a clear blue sky. 

This is my world.

My world can be dark and horrific, focusing on the many things that are ugly and evil. I can dwell in the what ifs or why nots. I can bemoan my age and stage, finding many reasons why my life will never be what it once was. I look for signs of my slipping into ill health or dementia and wonder with each mistake or forgotten name or new bruise if I am on my way down that path. I complain about the heat or the freak snow or the intense storms and become consumed with the end of the planet. I can see that rabbit hole and I dive right in.

Or I can take my dog for a walk. 

All of those things I’ve described are reality. All exist and all will continue, in some degree or another. The question is really this: Where do I want to put my attention and focus and energy? Do I want to come from a base of goodness, or of despair? If I want to make a change, from which platform will I gain strength?

My job is simple: Wake up, accept love, see beauty, give love. Rest and repeat. 

Back to you.