The other day I was walking through a park. It was just after sunrise, and the pooch needed water as we finished a few hills. I approached an area with a sole picnic table, which overlooked a small lake and a flowering hill. A guy seated atop of the table seemed to be part enjoying the morning, and part toying with his phone. As is typically cordial, I said “hi” and asked him how he was. As much as we were complete strangers, I kind of wanted to know. He looked up from his phone with a half-smile, and said “I’m alive”. “Beautiful morning” I said, with which he agreed, as we passed him.
With that relatively simple statement, I got to thinking. Was it simply a coined response, a cliché which he’s used many times when mostly indifferent strangers ask each other “how you doin’?” Or maybe he was truly grateful for being there, enjoying every ray of sunshine. Maybe he was suicidal the day before, and now “alive” screamed from his every pore. We might have been completely opposite or entirely similar in how we felt. Either way, the value of the stillness, the isolation and recharge – whatever form that took for each of us, was a blessing. Then I looked at my partner, panting and as hot as I was, wagging his tail with excitement only those creatures who truly know what life means but tell no one, can. And I realized how simple it all was.
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