Each morning I take Weston for a walk. We started with short ones, 10 minutes for each month she was old. We are now at our maximum of about 60 minutes.
For months, I waited for her to learn how to swim. People would ask “ahhh, a Lab. Does she LOVE to swim?” And for months we watched as she walked in water, but never made the swimming motion. The progression to swimmer took place during an evening visit to Back Beach and is accredited to the help from a more talented dog named Anzac. Weston fell in love with Anzac and quickly became a swimmer as she followed him into the big waves.
Our morning routine is now a walk in Pukekura Park during the week, (walkway on weekends) and then a swim in the Te Henui stream across from our house. The swim now ads at least 15-20 minutes to our routine. (She gets a puppy massage and is dried off post-swim before being able to come back inside.)
This is our pattern, and she knows the route and often leads me around each corner. I know how long it takes and can fit it in post-breakfast service and pre-room make up. Last week, she altered it.
We headed up a path we hadn’t been on and up into the woods. We went along for awhile – me anxiously checking my watch to ensure we were ‘on track’. These walks are our time together, and are often a relaxing start to the day. But sometimes, if I have a busy day my to-do list is heavy on my mind and these walks become a to-do instead of a joy. So this morning, I was a bit annoyed that I was off my schedule and anxious to get back to get on with the doing.
But then, we stumbled upon this sculpture by the Govett Brewster artist in residence. I knew about it, and had gone to a Monica Brewster talk by the artist one rainy winter night, who explained why he likes to work with glitter. But I hadn’t made the time to go and find it in the park. It was just outside our daily walk route. A gorgeous, whimsical gold glittering tree just outside my daily routine.
Thanks Weston for reminding me to go off path, get lost, put away my to-do and be in the moment. Who knows when you’re going to stumble upon a glorious gold tree amongst a sea of green ones?