Dog Walking as a Spiritual Practice

Between the news coming out of Gaza and the smaller, personal headaches about Oakley’s daycare center and sleepover camp going out of business at the end of the month, and the usual litany of daily weirdness,it’s been a little nutty out here in the soybean field.

This much I have done: been in touch with two dog day care providers who are much smaller and local with an easier drive from my house, and prayed for Gaza. I can’t do much else until things play out in their divine right order.

This much I can do: I went for a walk in the woods with Oakley this morning with the deliberate intention of staying in the moment. It’s all we have, really. Inhale, focus on breath while Oakley focuses on sniffing and peeing anything vertical to the ground. Focus on breath. Focus on the feeling of muscles raising and lowering my legs, my feet.

All well and good, but we somehow ended up on a trail predominately used by horses. Oakley decided that we needed a little variety this morning. No, Mom, we are NOT going that way today. I want to go this way. Ok, as long as we get a walk in and you don’t drag me through or eat unmentionable substances, we are good.

We found a very nice view of the Fox River, some lovely flowers punctuating the green of the forest floor plants with white and purple, and just enough dips and rolls to provide a small challenge. Oakley did his social networking for the day, and I had a good walk and practice in staying centered in the moment.

Next practice will be this afternoon.

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