Mailboxes in our neighborhood are located in cluster at the end of our street. I was inspired when I noticed many neighbors taking their dogs to get the mail. I set out with my porky Yorkie for what should have been a two minute walk…it turned into a twenty minute adventure! There were several contributing factors. First, he is challenged with short legs which he moves with very little enthusiasm. Second, he feels compelled to stop and sniff every single place he detects another dog has piddled…please refer to the aforementioned inspiration for our mailbox walk, there are LOTS of interesting piddle places along the route!
I have determined to endure our daily mailbox adventure, even though the pace drives me nuts. I know it is good for him, and I am finding it is even good for me. His slow pace forces me to relax, if that is possible. I allow myself to enjoy the stroll. Since we are en route so long, I have ample time to encounter new neighbors. I get to greet numerous folks with a smile and a wave as they return to our street following a day’s work. I think some of them have actually began to look for me on the street each afternoon.
Since our new home is on the Chesapeake, I have tried to make a habit of taking Hughie, A.K.A. WORLD”S SLOWEST DOG, on a walk along the beach each morning. I am secretly jealous of the other dog owners on the beach, the ones whose dogs chase sticks into the surf, run up and down the shoreline and come when called. But, alas, that is not to be my life…my life with Hughie is different.
Surprisingly, Hughie likes the beach. Unlike the other pooches, Hughie is content to meander down the shoreline, one clump of seaweed at a time. Each morning a new deposit of sea life can be found on the sand. Clumps of seaweed, detached sea anemones, horseshoe crabs, and clams dot the shoreline. Hughie moves with slow determined steps to each and every one. Carefully he takes in the aroma, savoring it as if it were a good book or fine wine. Then he MUST piddle just a tad on it before moving on to his next clump of seaweed. While he makes his way SLLLOOOOOOOWWWLY along the water’s edge, I am forced, once again, to slow down. I wait for him. (I choose to do this because I know no matter the speed, the walk is good for us both). It is in this waiting that I am taught.
Because I must walk slowly, I see shells I would have otherwise trampled. As I stand waiting on my porky Yorkie, I see the sky pinking up as the sun ascends. I get to see every inch of the rising. First it is a glow, then a bright sliver of light, quickly it is a half cup of brilliance before it seems to literally bonce into a bright orb hovering just above the water and scattering all kinds of pastel colors into the clouds. Yep, would have missed that if not for the world’s slowest dog.
Today, I am thinking about the people I get to greet, the things I experience, all because Hughie stops to sniff and piddle. I am thinking that this week and weekend I am going to try to live my life in a “sniff and piddle” pace….taking in all there is, enjoying the very thing that might have frustrated me before, looking around when I get made to stop or slow down, and thanking our God for EVERYTHING He puts in my life.
My prayer for each of us and our friends and loved ones…Ephsians 3:14-19
“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to His riches of His glory, to be strengthened with the power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”