Light breeze, blue sky, rabbits congregating on the grassy verge, robins flitting from branch to branch with worms dangling from their beaks — I dare say it was a perfect morning. I’d driven over to the park for my daily dose of heart pumping fun and hit the asphalt trail leading to muddy mulch lines that meander through tall, tall trees.
My first encounter was a woman and German Shepherdlike four leg. She’d stopped to fiddle with her shoe and looked up at my approach. Simultaneously removing an earbud and backing off the trail with her dog in tow, she smiled.
I said, “Beautiful dog!” and carried on.
In the forest, I encountered a rule breaker — the kind of rule breaker that’s got a special spot in my heart. Earbuds in, she didn’t hear my approach from behind and did not turn to notice me go in for a scratch of her unleashed lab mix’s ears, right near the sign where it states dogs must be leashed. I branched off in a different direction, not wanting to startle her morning zen.
I fully support her decision to let the gentle mutt walk untethered. Some rules are meant to be broken.
We did meet face to face on another section of trail, where the walker leashed her pet at my face-to-face approach, and pulled her earbud long enough for me to lament my lack of four leg companionship. “You don’t have to leash your friend on my account — we already met this morning,” I said with a wink. I learned her black and white friend is ten, and doing pretty good.
Back on the asphalt, I slowed to a walk for my cool down. There I met Mitzi, a chihuahua mix walked by a young girl with long black curls.
“What’s your dog’s name,” I asked.
I was rewarded with a grin when I told her how I loved Mitzi’s ears — one flopped over while the other stood tall like a fur-fringed, super-sized Dorito.
The morning’s piece de resistance was the handsome young man, about my son’s age (late teens/early twenties), who, with sweat dripping from his forehead, made eye contact, crossed the trail and offered me a high five — which I accepted, beaming along with the sun. “Have an amazing day!” he called.
Dare I say, it was a perfect morning?
The ultimate cherry on top was…
When I got home, I caught sight of two baby red squirrels scampering around our backyard lawn. Their mother was hanging upside down on the bird feeder munching seeds.
Things are looking up! Does life’s joy boil down to what we bring to the table and choose to see?