Charlie and I ventured out this morning on a five miler along the country roads that surround our village. It was a cold, crisp, but beautiful morning and I was well wrapped up against the elements. I’m walking more now and taking in the sights whereas, before, all I focused on was my pace. Stopping to take a photograph like the one above would have been out of the question and I rarely had time to appreciate the wonderful views.
Charlie loves to sniff and stops regularly to do what dogs do against bushes and trees. The fresh air and quiet allows me to focus on the things that matter as I recharge my batteries and forget the worries of the world for an hour or so. Belfast seems a million, as opposed to twenty, miles away and I can dream up book and blog ideas, ponder my faith or sort out all the other nonsense that clutters up our brains on a daily basis. It’s a mental detox completely free of charge.
When we got home Charlie was a tired, happy but very muddy dog. He loves puddles, the murkier the better, and even occasionally stops to drink from them. Disgusting I know, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. What does bother him, however, is the dreaded bath which he inevitably faces before being allowed back into the living room. I normally end up wetter than him as our weekly wrestling match leaves the two of us looking like drowned rats.
Whereas Charlie returns home dirtier than when he left, these walks leave me feeling clean and alive. It’s as if the fresh air and exercise purges me of the grit and grime of daily life. I used to turn my nose up at those who walked, as opposed to run, but maybe it’s time for me to fast track to the slow lane, where quality is valued more than quantity. Hoping you all have a great day wherever you are from the Northern Irish countryside.