Few words are ever exchanged. Often there is no recognition at all as we pass. We are on private journeys, going inward and building ourselves up. Inevitably it is beneficial and we return refreshed. But we go about it in isolation.
Try taking your dog and the situation reverses dramatically. Dogs refresh by going outward, and not just for the obvious reason. Where you want to press on, dogs want to stop. Where you want to search internally, dogs are in search externally. You are intent on finding yourself, dogs want to assess what they find along the way. The search is totally different.
It’s why I love dogs. They have much to teach. What if the answers we need were not to be found within us? What is the answers were all around us? What if we stopped and spoke during the journey, just as dogs discover each other?
There’s no denying our need for private space and time. But the world at our feet may draw us out in ways that bind us together. Belonging begins in discovery of new possibilities, often outside ourselves. That’s how belonging begins.