I am often struck by the difference in the quality of in-the-moment attention between myself and my dogs, particularly when we are out walking. I wrote this series of short poems (Japanese Haiku) after I had been out with my dogs one morning in early November. I was very surprised when they spotted late blackberries (which they love) in the bushes. I would not have noticed them with my distracted attention and my preconception that there would be no ripe fruit on the bush at this time of year. It made me think about how much I miss every day, partly because my thoughts take me off somewhere else so much of the time and because I make assumptions about what is there and what is not. My dogs, on the other hand, go out every morning with equal enthusiasm and equal attention and simply find what is there.
All senses switched on
Attention focussed on smell,
Breathing it all in.
Thinking I am here
Leaves/thought, birdsong/thought, rain/thought
‘Ouch!’, shoulder, elbow, palm – Dogs!
Nostrils twitch, heads up
Late black fruit glints in bushes
We pick fruit…Here Now