Company in the Park

photo-1516219977482-2fd38ba6b6e2I planned to walk in the park during my recent visit to Brooklyn. I’d seen the park in the dark, but it seemed like a great place for a morning walk. My nephew concurred and gave me the added good news that there would probably be plenty of dogs in the park the following morning.

He wasn’t kidding.

It was a Saturday morning, apparently a popular time to meet at the park. Many of the owners unleashed their dogs right as they entered the park, and dogs would charge forward, knowing exactly where they usually went to meet up with their canine buddies. Dog friends jumped to greet each other. They ran in circles while their owners stood nearby and caught up with their own news. Many dogs carried a tennis ball or other favorite ball in their mouths and somehow kept track of them among the many different kinds being thrown in all directions. I saw so many breeds, sizes, and personalities. There had to be at least 150 dogs in the park that day. I walked around the park multiple times, sometimes seeing the same dogs more than once while also noticing new arrivals.

They were so well behaved. Multiple times, I heard an owner call a dog’s name, followed by “Home!” The dog ran to the owner, waited to be leashed, and began to trot in the direction of home.

Sometimes what looks like chaos is a well-understood routine. Sure, disaster might be right around the corner, but as much discipline and structure as can be placed helps ebb away those uncertain possibilities.

I wonder if our own behaviors as humans look a bit the same if we take a step back. A bit chaotic but also surprisingly structured. Exciting yet unpredictable. Connections and personality conflicts. Responsive behavior and squirrelly, inattentive behavior.

Perhaps today we can appreciate the connections we have, even if they seem a bit overwhelming and unpredictable. Let’s handle our routines and playtimes with humility, respect, wisdom, and joy.

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