Emily and I took Oliver, our dog, out for a bit of a hike today. We were the only two people on the trail and it was a relatively wide open space, so we eventually decided to take his leash off. We live downtown. So for Oliver, leashes are an extension of his body anytime he’s outdoors. He’s constrained to the 5-7 feet between the one walking him and the buckle on his color. So when that leash came off, a new dog appeared.
Oliver booked it. He sprinted through the tall grass and the bushes. Running circles around us with the biggest and dopiest grin on his face. It was the clearest and most vivid picture of what freedom can be. No constraint. No resistance. Nothing to tie down. Blatant and pure and beautiful freedom. Emily and I both got giddy just watching him.
There are some ways to encounter the world that are leashed and constrained and dogmatic. And there are other ways that are free and lush and liberating. Leashed realities, at least from what I’ve observed via the life of my dog and the life that I left behind in dogmatic religion, don’t come close to the leashless ones.
There’s SO much beauty in this world for you to run through, smile at, and have brush against your face. No leash anyone guilts you into wearing should trump your ability to taste the reality of beauty and freedom.