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A Walk in the Park

Written by Rebecca Firegrave on Sunday the 16th of January 2011
The parties are over, the hangovers are still lingering and there is a whole lot of mess to clear up; the new year rarely starts as we hope it will. Grand resolutions of hard work often get lost between the memories of drunken nights and mundane normality. But taking a stroll away from the routine can bring a fresh breeze into your life. 

Dogs, for example, love going for walks, yet it can sometimes be nothing more than a chore to us humans. If Rover didn't look at you with his pitiful eyes and slobber dribbling down his hairy chin as you merely glance at the front door, his gateway to the world, walking him just might not happen as often as he'd like. So what does he get out of it that you don't? He gets to socialise, sure. But even in desolate woods he'd be deliriously happy. If we turned up to a party and nobody was there, on the other hand, the only excitement we'd feel is the thought that we will not miss the last bus home. 

Dogs' sense of smell is their most powerful interaction with the physical world. Each new variety is like a newly discovered colour to the human eye. Sniffing around, they enjoy every new second of olfactory stimulation. With not a concern of their past or future, they suck up the pleasure in the moment. To dogs, a world of rainbows lives beside every dingy ditch. 

Hanging around parks might not be everybody's idea of making the most of 2009, but then humans were endowed with five strong senses. It's not difficult to replicate Rover's euphoria. Every new person you meet, place you visit, food you taste, fabric you feel, picture you look at tickles your sensory spots and fills you with inspiration and a warm fuzzy feeling. Hard work is only worthwhile if we take the time to enjoy the world we have created by sucking up that pleasure in the momment without a burden of thought on our backs.

So, this year, I invite you to treat your senses. Go somewhere you've never been, cook a new meal, learn a new language, dance to music you love, visit a gallery or just take the time to look at the sky. Enjoy your world. Go on, have a sniff.