My daughter walks like a dog. I'm serious, it's not a joke.
The last few months Lauren has been getting some work done in her yard - major earthworks. She's still waiting for the digging to be finished so she can lay a lawn. She misses her grass and plants. She's the kind of person who will spend a couple of hours a day sitting in the grass destressing, and she hasn't been able to do that for nearly four months. It's driving her crazy.
Yesterday we went to a native forest for a long walk, just so we could get close to some trees. Today we visited a friend who lives on a mountain that has a significant national park, and went for walk around the neighbourhood.
I realised today that Lauren walks like a dog. We'll be walking along and she'll suddenly deviate from the path a few metres to sniff a flower or feel the texture of a particular leaf. Then she'll return to the path only to slide off the other side after a few metres to press her hand to the bark of a tree to feel the roughness and the warmth left by the sun. She'll get down on hands and knees to watch the dappled sunlight under the fronds of a tree fern. That was the pattern for our walks yesterday and today. If something catches her eye, Lauren will go and investigate, just like an inquisitive dog would.
It's a beautiful thing to watch and to be part of. I remember similar walks when she was a child. I always loved the way she saw the world - as a thing of peace and beauty, to be nurtured and enjoyed. I no longer have to field the never-ending questions of 'why' and 'how', but she still retains that same joy of nature around her. Spending time with her has reminded me of the simple joys in life.
Looking at the world the way Lauren does really works. I haven't felt so relaxed and happy for a long time.