It’s not like I forgot about the Lake. I knew it was there. I just hadn’t thought to visit it in a while. I used to walk the dog by it several times a week. I remember feeling better then. Emotionally, physically, better. It’s not a long walk. In fact, if I walk to the path that is adjacent to the lake on two sides, and then walk this path, past the “Logan’s Road House”, past the Hampton Inn, it’s about a mile. Not a really long walk by any stretch, unless you don’t have any legs, or they don’t function for you the way they used to. Mine do. I can walk. There are a few people in my life who can’t say this. Some of these people are rather close to me. But I can walk, and so I did this morning. Something to be grateful for today.
The dog was grateful too. Although she was huffing and panting along the way, she turned to me, squinting in the sun, with her tongue hanging out and I could see that all too familiar smile on her face. “Thanks Daddy!”, that smile was saying. I smiled back and said, “You’re welcome!” She’s an old dog, my Jamaica. She’s in fairly good health for her age. Sometimes she falls when we are walking, but she gets right back up and continues to walk like nothing happened. I can learn a lesson from that.
When we get back to the house and walk inside, it’s nice to feel the cool, dry air hit my face. It’s warm outside, and humid. This is as it should be in late May in the Washington, DC area. Not quite hot yet, but warm enough and moist enough to bring about a mild sweat, even with a mild walk. When we do these walks during the mid-summer months, I am dripping by the time we get back. The dog walks over to the water fountain (Yes, I said fountain. Just a little gift I gave to her and to the cats a while ago to keep the water fresh and clean for them). She laps up 5 or 6 tongue fulls of water, as I reach into the refrigerator and pull out a can of sparkling, lemon-flavored water for myself. Nice, and cold, with a little bit of a bite. This would be a perfect start to a weekend day, except that it’s not the weekend. It’s the Tuesday after Memorial Day, and at the moment I don’t have a job to go to.
I should be grateful, and I am for the fact that for the time being I’m still receiving a pay check, and my company is searching for another position for me. I am grateful, both for this, and for the ability just for now to appreciate the time I had this morning to take the dog for a walk near the lake. We need to do this more often whether or not I’m working. I need to make the time to do this with her, for both ours sakes.
We really only have today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. I need to make the most of each moment that I have, and not waste the moments feeling sorry for myself, or wallowing in self-pity or fear. But the only way to push the fear away is to fill my life with other things. Good things, like a walk by the lake, and the gratitude that I’m able to take this walk with my old dog, and add some joy and contentment to her life if only for 1 mile at a time. Maybe we’ll walk a little further tomorrow. Or maybe tomorrow I will have a job to go to. No matter what, I still need to make the time to take these walks with her, for both our sakes.