I’m trying to lose weight. It’s that 20 year college reunion that is hitting me and making me realize I have some work to do on this body.
One of the things I am trying is to walk a few miles a day. Usually this entails walking the loop of our cul-de-sac multiple times while Maddie is napping and the boys are occupied. Tonight, though, I walked the neighborhood with Maddie in her stroller while the boys were playing with Steve.
I spoke to a few neighbors I know by sight, and I met a new person…new to me. He was coming toward me with a big German Shepherd off leash, coming at a pretty quick clip. I watched and noticed him speak to the dog and instruct the animal to move to the man’s other side so he wouldn’t be coming straight toward Maddie.
When I got close enough I asked how old the German Shepherd was. He told me the dog was 4. He immediately relaxed. I knelt down and the dog came and greeted me. I told the man how we had lost our two Shepherds over the last two years.
That did it.
We were bonded. I spoke with him for about 15 minutes and can tell you that he has a grandson who just turned 1 a week ago, he had a collie who passed away last Christmas. Oh, and I can tell you his address and his name and that if I ever need anything at all I can go and knock on his door and he would help me. I have no doubt that he would prove true to that offer.
A walk through the neighborhood. A new friend met. A new human who connected with me and who I could turn to if I was in need.
Neighborhood. I have to admit…I miss out too often on walking and being physically present in this place God has placed me, meeting people and speaking with eye contact and physical connection. Babies and dogs tend to be great additions to break the ice. In a world that tends to offer fear and confusion and hate and distrust and anxiety, it is good to know that a walk through the neighborhood can still mean conversations and connections that simply cannot be had any other way.