I was out on my morning dog walk along our usual trail when I saw a man up ahead sitting in the middle of the trail with his back to me.
As I approached him I could see there was a dog sitting in front of him and he was hugging him from behind.
I edged closer and around the side of him. “Is everything ok?” I asked, as it is unusual to sit in the middle of a narrow trail.
“Yes”, he replied “He’s old, going to the vet today” and he started crying.
This was the dogs last ‘walk’. The last time out in the woods, sniffing and smelling the trees, chasing squirrels, digging holes.
As I moved in front, I looked back at the old dog and he sat, looking with deep brown eyes at me. I knew that he knew. And it was ok.
Then I saw the way the owner looked at the dog.
I’ve seen that look before. I can’t find words to describe it and it doesn’t always mean death or fear or sadness, but it can.
It’s a knowing so deep, so connected that is reaches the fathoms of my soul. I’ve seen it in movies, in moments with people I know, and I’ve felt it in music and in sunsets.
Do you know what I mean?
I equate it with love, truth, empathy, soul yet none of those words are accurate.
All I know is that there is a life force we call love that is bigger and more expansive than we will ever know or understand. Some have tried to use words:
A peace that surpasses all understanding.
A field out beyond right and wrong.
A knowing that we cannot fully know.
For me, it is an understanding that we are not all our problems, our roles or our possessions. We are far, far more than that.
And it also reminds me that we are all that. Everyone you meet, the angry, mean ones and the happy ones, are all fighting their own battles and in the end….
there is the look that connects everything. It is empathy.
Here are some images of this connection that remind me of this empathy connection: