Every morning I walk our dogs. I am usually up and out of the door by 7:30 even on the weekends. I can’t get myself to sleep or linger much longer in our bed plus I know the husky is antsy to get the day up and moving. I can hear him pacing and just a slight whine slip out to test if I am close to ready to rise. The little dachshund mix could stay in bed all day if we let her but she is ready when I am to leap from our bed. I leave Ana in bed so she can have the morning hours to really get her sleep, rest her body without anyone else to disturb her.
Each morning I get up and take a shower, get ready for the day. I set up the coffee machine and just before I hit the start button I drink a glass of water. I gather the poop bags, my keys, my phone and my jacket. I put their leashes on and finally my shoes as I slip out the door, careful to not slam it behind me. We take off down the stairs and start on our morning route. Our usual route is turning left immediately out of our apartment building and we walk the block to the canal trail. We always turn right along the canal, all of us on autopilot for our morning walk, careful to dodge other dogs if we happen upon them but walking into the sunrise all the same. We walk down the trail and past the park, careful to sniff in all of the usual places and all three of us trot along. I am careful to not take out my phone but just recognize the trail, the sun, the differences of season and light.
Yesterday morning I had to turn left at the canal. There were just too many dogs to the right and my dogs tend to get worked up if there are too many, especially off leash. We were walking just a slight bit later, I took my time getting up and it meant more people out and about by 8:15 in the morning. So we turned left at the trail which took us to a different bridge along a different way.
The dogs will go along with this but it is not their favorite. If I go off of our normal trail, the linger where we should have turned. They look back and up at me, not quite sure where we are headed now. Before they knew exactly where they would be and where they should walk with me, now the rules have changed and they aren’t sure where I will lead them. We may go across the bridge, or further into the neighborhood. We may go left or right at the next turn. They just aren’t sure and they aren’t sure how far we will go. To be honest, I am not sure at this point either. I know I will walk them until they have done their business and I feel as though we have had a proper morning walk. I will walk them until my want for the first morning sips of coffee outweigh the want to still be in the sun.
At some point, I will turn them back towards home, even though we are off routine and I will go back to what I do each morning….feed them, pour myself coffee and nestle in to write a morning devotional during holy week and continue on with my day.
It seems to me that this period of time feels like one gigantic break in routine. Instead of turning right we have had to turn left and then who knows what. We aren’t sure how long we will be, what it looks like over there, what this new route holds or how it was transform us. We don’t know when we will be able to resume our routines or if we will want to after this. And we are all looking toward each other to try to catch cues about what will happen next, where we are going and when we are going to return.
Holy Tuesday is feeling like that today. It has never been this way before and it will never be this way again and all will be different even as Easter approaches. We are off route but we know that we will be off route together.