I walk my dog 3 times a day in my local park. I always have done since Mr Beni 🐕🦺 got his 'freedom' & came home with me in 2016. He is a rescue & was actually, pre-me & post-being surrendered, resident in Wheatfield Prison! (A great scheme, since evidently sadly shelved, that brought various small rescue animals to the prison so that they could be helped & give comfort to those incarcerated & vice versa).
So, despite people saying 'wow your dog must be loving the extra walks due to Covid'-19, nope, we always got out 3 x a day; one of the 'perks' of self-employment. That means I saw what the park & its users were like pre, during & now ("post"???) Covid. What was great (though at times a tad overwhelming!) was to see so many new people discovering our lovely Irish War Memorial Gardens park.
What's astonishing is seeing the amount of people in there, heads-down, eyes glazed, ears encased in headphones. Now I totally get that sometimes we simply want to BLOCK OUT THE WORLD; to sometimes listen to some tunes, hear a fav podcast, catch up on a show.
But all the time? Not noticing Nature? Not meeting a neighbour's eye & saluting them? Not getting to hear the breeze, the rustling of leaves in the trees, the cry of the gulls, the sweet sound of bird-song, the life-affirming sound of the rowers skimming skilfully & speedily through the waters of the Liffey? The laughter & cheers & shouting of the GAA & Football players & supporters?
As this article sadly highlights, walking that way, all the time, does us no good:
"even before the pandemic struck, this was the lonely century – ensconced in our digital privacy bubbles, headphones on, heads in our phones, all too often we actively distanced ourselves from those around us",
"47% wear headphones when they go for a walk",
"just a 30-second exchange with a stranger can make us feel significantly less lonely & significantly more connected to those around us.”
This weekend, why not take a deep breath, leave the headphones at home & reconnect with the world around you You might just grow to like it 😊🙏🏽
Looking forward (weather-permitting!) to seeing you Outdoor Yogis at 9am Saturday Morning for Mellow Flow - let's keep keeping Om outside for as long as we can 🧘♀️🌳 🧘🏽♂️ 🤞🏽