I’ve been putting tile in my kitchen, walking out to the patio to cut a piece of tile, then back in to check the fit. My dog follows me in and out. He looks at me quizzically as he lays in the grass enjoying the day, as if to say “why are you doing all of that when you could be laying in the grass like me, taking a nap or smelling all the great smells?”.
He seems to accept without judgment that I spend a great amount of time sitting in front of a screen, staring at it relentlessly, completely absorbed – something I am doing right now actually.
Earlier today I took him for our morning bike ride/walk. I parked my bike along a little field next to the bike trail, and we walked around for a while. He was quite ready to leave my unlocked bike to head for another adventure of smells and sights. I however felt the strings pulling me back to my bike. I couldn’t just leave it there, someone might take it, and my bike has value.
It’s become a bit cliché to say that our possessions possess us as much as we possess them, but it’s so true. The big things, like homes and cars, come with loan payments & taxes. In addition, homes call out for yard work, cleaning, and fixing things when they break. Cars need to be filled with gas, have the oil changed, and mine calls out to be kept clean. Even the little things called out to be dusted, washed, or ironed. All of them call out to be treasured, not lost or left behind, like my bike in the field. All these things pull at me, each calling out “pay attention to me, I’m important, I have value”.
Sometimes I envy my dogs life. He has no such strings pulling at his attention. He has not a single possession. Even his collar is something he does not need. The luxury of an undivided attention.