Maddie is a dog of routines. Routines that she herself has established. In fact, she has replaced some of our routines with her own. For example, I used to put my Saturday blog post up somewhere between 7:00 am and 8:30 am. Occasionally, I would even publish it in the afternoon or early evening. These days, that post gets scheduled for publication at 6:04 am. That’s because, I used to get up around 6:15 am on Saturday, get some coffee and go sit at my laptop. Now, I get up at 6:15 am, get a cup of coffee and go sit with Maddie. It’s our time. It’s a thing that we do. I don’t know whether it’s a thing I have to do for her or one that she feels she has to do for me, but it’s a thing for certain.
One of the other things that we do is walk. Maddie loves to walk. Not the “I have to walk the dog to do her business” kind of walk, rather the “I want to check out my ‘hood” kind. During the week, the Mrs. walks Maddie. There’s no telling where they might go. There are several alternatives. When I walk Maddie, it’s through Veterans Park.
Most days, our walk through the park is, well, a walk in the park. It’s uneventful, or the events are: we see a squirrel, we see another dog, or we see the woman jogger who always says hi to Maddie. Sometimes, we see a stranger who says “Oh, what a pretty dog!” Sometimes, we pass a stranger and they don’t say anything. Maddie looks at me and I say: “she thinks you’re a pretty dog, but she’s shy.” Every now and then, we see the black squirrel, or a baseball or a soccer team setting up or the sky is extra pretty or the leaves are turning or the flowers are blooming, or something is somehow inspiring. Maddie never seems inspired. Well, the black squirrel does get her attention, but so do grey squirrels. Maddie only knows that something is inspiring because I keep stopping to take pictures.
It was foggy.
I know, I said that in the title, but it’s taken me almost 350 words to get to that point. Sorry, maybe I should have a photo blog.
Fog or no fog, Maddie was going for her walk. She went over and stood by her harness, stamped her feets and made noises that mean: “hey, it’s time for my walk.” I knew it was still very foggy, so I decided to bring my camera. The fog was inspiring, but in a way that I didn’t expect.
I’ve walked through this park hundreds of times. I know this park like the back of my hand, yet the fog caused me to see it differently. The park revealed itself through the fog in a rolling 300 foot swath of clarity. Beyond that, the park quickly faded away. I started questioning what I knew about this park. Where is the pavilion? Where is the warning track on that ballfield? When exactly does this path turn to the right? What or who is making that noise?
I started to wonder:
If part of the problem in the world today is related to how much we know? Can we see so much that we are overlooking critical details? Are we ignoring the local, little disasters? Are we so focused on the broad universe of extreme events that we forget about the ordinary issues and problems that play out right in our neighborhood? Have we gotten to the point where we only pay attention to what someone calls “breaking news?”
The photo gallery is from our walk. I’ll leave you with the song that I started thinking about as I began to wonder about all these things, “Dr My Eyes” by Jackson Browne.
“Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand
I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can
Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long?”