Sunday Strolls

Sundays are opportunities for reflection for me.  It’s generally the day of the week I choose to stroll to the park with my dogs and simply be.  This morning at 8:25, we arrived at the gates of the park, minutes before it opened.  We found a little nook to sit, where the sun could shine on our faces, as we waited patiently for the park staff member to open the gates.  Runners passed by, other dog walkers, couples, parents with children, and solo elderly individuals all peaking if the gates were yet opened.  Our mornings were at the mercy of this staff member to open the gates.  How often we talk parks for granted?  Open spaces that are free to the public to immerse their senses in, with flowers, park benches, and an ever evolving atmosphere of greenery. 

            I witnessed regulars in the park, particularly one neighbor who volunteers at the park.  Although she brings her dog daily for their morning walks, the walk is just as beneficial for her as it is the dog.  I observe her as she talks to strangers, neighbors, and friends with every few steps she takes. Her cocker spaniel waits patiently at her side. This is their routine, as the park serves as her social gathering place.  As we walk further along, I watch another elderly woman walk her two pet ferrets on leashes towards a tiny pond.  They jumped in for a refreshing a swim. As she walked past us, she mentioned their remaining part of their walk was to dry them off.   I have never seen ferrets puttering around on leashes before.  Our paths crossed again thirty minutes later.  I was curious about these peculiar pets.   These ferrets were only three years old, they had half of their lives ahead of them.  Their life spans are generally 6-7 years, and she noted the sadness that will arise when their time is up.     “It’s always hard losing a pet.  But in the mean time I can give them a life full of love.  

As I sat on the park benches with my dogs, I pondered on how I want to live the rest of my life.  I was 42, middle age, just like those ferrets.  How can I give the remaining part of my life the love and care it deserved?    And as I sat there, amidst the locals, I realized this is it.  I wanted to stroll in the park and notice the fluctuations in flowers and gardens and the familiarity of the elderly trees.  I wanted to feel the sun in my face without worrying of having to be in a particular place or be a particular person.

When we are children, the number one question asked is “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  Answers are occupations, which generally include years of education, overtime, office politics, and sacrifice.  But as I sit here now, middle age, I question not what do I want to be but how do I want to be.   

And so this is my Sunday reflection question for you:

How do you want to be with the remaining time you have on this Earth?  

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