I am walking at the park with Beaumont, The Sheepadoodle, throwing the ball whenever he deigns to drop it for me.
As is his way, his run out for the ball is fast. Lightning quick.
Running back… not so quick. Not so direct.
It doesn’t matter. He makes me smile. Laugh. Feel good.
I keep walking. He keeps running circles around me, dropping the ball whenever he pleases. Unless I ask him to of course. Then he is quick to comply.
It’s our thing.
I breathe in the air. The smoke from the fires burning fiercely to the west is not so heavy this evening. There is a breeze blowing. The leaves on the trees rustle like a thousand worshipers whispering prayers to an unseen deity. The air is coolish on my face. My hair blows around my eyes.
We keep walking. I keep throwing. Beaumont keeps running and fetching.
I feel rich tonight. Full. Filled with the enjoyment of spending time outdoors, walking with this dog who has brought limitless joy into our lives.
Earlier in the day, someone asked me about a man I knew years ago. Is he your friend, she asks?
I laughed. Not by a long stretch. He was a a cohort of the man who almost killed me, I tell her. Neither of them were good or honest people.
She is relieved. He had once hurt her badly. She could not imagine how we could be friends if I called him friend.
I tell her how my life is so much richer, fuller, complete since that experience. How, while at the time it was awful, terrifying, now I am grateful to have come through it. To be able to carry with me all I learned journeying through those dark times.
Years ago, I walked this same park with Ellie, the Wunder Pooch. My life at the time was filled with fear, uncertainty, horror, angst.
I didn’t savour the wind on my face, my hair blowing into my eyes. I didn’t hear the whisper of the leaves or see the sky above filled with limitless possibilities.
I didn’t laugh at Ellie’s antics or throw a ball.
I walked, steps heavy, every cell in my body filled with dread, my heart and mind consumed by the darkness that seemed to fill my entire world.
The darkness has lifted. The winds of fate have changed direction.
I walk in beauty now.
I am grateful.
I am filled with richness, loving-kindness, joy.
My world is a sea of limitless abundance.
I am blessed.