Saturday Reflections

“Even here, life is a gift. Amidst all that is missing and does not make sense, the fact that we are breathing in this very moment matters.

“May we never take for granted the love we have known in this life. May we never take for granted the sense of community, even if our ‘community’ is smaller than we want it to be, or not as physically close this year.

“Let us have gratitude for every moment where we have experienced joy, love, and peace…even if grief is mixed within those memories. Let us continue to embrace the wholeness of it all.” – Morgan Harper Nichols

What a beautiful day. After weeks of bone-chilling cold, snow and ice, we had ourselves a tiny preview of spring. Above are just a few moments of joy from the day — a long walk in Forest Park (on trails that were snow-covered just last weekend), a carpet of crocus that caused me to do a u-turn, stop and get out of the car, and a brand new carseat for my little sidekick.

One surprising source of joy I’ve felt a lot lately is something that I can’t photograph — and that’s the sense of community that I’ve felt since bringing home my puppy, Finnegan. It’s been an interesting development for an introvert like me. People are so open, friendly and kind. In the years I’ve been going to the park, I’ve always made an effort to break out of my shell, make eye contact and smile at passersby, maybe extend a good morning or how are ya. But people light up when they see Finn. They stop me, pause what they’re doing, love on him, chat with me, introduce their dog (if they have one). I don’t think we crossed paths with one individual in a crowded park this morning who didn’t at least smile or say hello. Not one. And I actually enjoyed it. I wonder if that’s our solution to bring peace and unity to our communities — every person should have a dog in tow. (Well, as long as it’s not that nasty chihuahua who lives across the way.) I would be fully in favor of it.

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