Lately when Lily and I have gone out exploring, I have been noticing a lot of different things that have been left behind. Some things left behind are unavoidable, like these tracks in the snow...
and in the sidewalk...
Some things left behind will be missed...
While other things have been left behind with a degree of carelessness that I find hard to understand.
I tidied this up after I took the picture.
On the other hand, dogs are always leaving their scent for other dogs to find. Dogs are also more than happy to find what someone else has lost!
This year I am going to try to be more mindful of what I leave behind. Every word, every gesture leaves its mark. I will be more mindful of how I connect with others, knowing that the mark I leave will have its own history. Each day I will look forward to finding something new and surprising.
Lily and I went for a longer walk a couple of days ago. The snow was fresh and soft. It was cold but we didn't mind. We made our way to the waterfront. Lily was suddenly very interested in something that I hadn't noticed.
Just a few seconds later I saw this..
It was a peaceful, happy moment.
I hope you enjoy a peaceful moment during your day today!
Do you see the bird in this picture? I didn't notice it when I took the picture. It made me happy when I discovered it later on my computer screen. I don't take many pictures of the same thing when Lily and I are out. There's no time for that - Lily is patient, but she is always at the end of the leash waiting to move on to more fun. The bird is in the perfect place in the picture. It hovers quietly in the sky, waiting for me to notice.
Here are some other things Lily and I came across this week...
This little leaf is fighting hard to stay in place...Like me.
One windy morning, Lily met someone new...
She was very uneasy about him at first, and barked several times. Lily never barks at anyone! Once she smelled him, she turned away and moved on to more interesting things.
She was very happy when we found this yellow ball...
...and I was happy to find these rich brown leaves resting on the beach.
Lily loves new places, but she is pretty much happy wherever we are.
You might remember this bird from September...
It was a wonderful surprise when I uploaded the day's photos and saw it for the first time, hovering on the left side of the picture.
Now back to this week. Are you ready?
I took this picture a few days ago. See the bird? Once again I didn't notice it at the time. Once again, it is perfectly placed in the picture. These moments seem so random but at the same time, so right. The bird sends me hope and comfort, and calmly whispers that things will be okay.
It's been 23 days since my last post. I could say that I was too busy, or that so much has happened in 23 days that I just couldn't get around to it, but the truth is that I lost my way for a little while.
Sometimes I brought the camera along on our walks, but I didn't feel like taking any pictures. Other times I tried taking pictures but I was so distracted by pain that the pictures ended up being blurry and dull.
Once in a while Lily and I found some little surprises. Here is a frosty leaf that looked to me like a sugar dusted cookie.
Lily was very curious about this little guy but respectfully did not touch it. There's no such thing as Finders Keepers, you know!
We noticed this bike at 7am one morning....
...and it was still there the next day at 10am.
I found this bike very perplexing. I kept wondering who it belonged to...who stole it...where it came from...why and when it was left in the park...
Lily didn't let these mysteries get to her. She just got on with her day.
She's very good at letting things go!
My dad once told me our support sytem is made up of concentric circles. We are at the centre. Our close family is the next circle. Then come friends, then work colleagues, the local community, and so on. Sometimes you need to look around yourself and lean on the people who surround you. They can help you to see again.
...and once you can see again, you will notice the happy surprises all around you.
It's hard to even think about, but something's coming.
Every morning, no matter what temperature, wind or precipitation is out there, Lily is ready to go exploring.
Things are looking a little different in the neighbourhood these days.
This red is new.
The flower beds in the park are nearly all empty.
I know what's coming. It's something cold and windy and...beautiful. I know what to expect but there are so many things that I won't see coming at all. The only thing I can really be sure of is that there will be surprises. Some will be spectacular and wonderful and some will not.
I do know that love will always be there, and for that I am very grateful.