it’s been months I haven’t slept at home in the mountains/village. it’s early Christmas morning. I’m out for a walk with my dog, michat. and during this walk something amazing happened, magical i could say. but before I get to that, let me tell how all the walks I’ve taken when I was still living here went like.
I walk with michat, I see people on the way, some are walking dogs, others are just walking. we barely nod to each other, and each goes his own way. this is a typical walk. today, something different happened.
I meet a Hindu man who always used to walk his huge dog. we never talked. his dog was fierce and unaprochable. but today, he says Merry Christmas. his dog jumps on me all exited and can’t get enough of loving me. even more than michat would do when I return home after a long absence. the hindu man, I later learn was named ara-something, walks with me for a minute until he gets home. I was compelled to ask him if he’s happy here. and indeed he is. it’s obvious in his eyes, and on his face. we talk about India, my journey there, the Indian clothes I was wearing, his family, his visits to India. I pat him on his shoulder. I ask for his name, and repeat it after him. I leave with an immense feeling of happiness. and make great effort to remember his name. something distracts me, the name goes.
an Egyptian man walks by me. we maintain eye contact. i smile, a big smile. for a while he seems hesitant, but finally gives in. he smiles back while maintaining eye contact. a pleasant moment.
later, I see a big man with a sandwich in his mouth. without hesitation, he asks me about michat. “that’s a collie?”. “a mix between collie and something else”, I reply. he talks to me about his dog farm, his 19,000$ German shepard dog, etc. all in all a pleasant guy, with a perception that animals are merchandise. we shake hands, and share names. I make no effort to remember his name. yet I feel tremendous love towards him.
I see a man in the distance. his husky is trying to espape his leash to play with michat. that’s the same guy I used to see years ago walking his puppy husky. he’s grown. we’re face to face, Salah and I. he asks a question, “yes, that’s my dog”, I answer with a big smile. I go on telling him how I used to see him walking his now grown puppy. he seemed in a bit of a hurry to leave, maybe out of slight discomfort. I instantly pull out my hand out of my pocket, without any hesitation, intending to shake his hand. I firmly say my full name. his discomfort goes away, and firmly shaking my hand he says: “Salah, Salah skaff.” an electrifying beautiful feeling runs trough my body. what a handsome mature man he is, with his white hair and beard. suddenly it hit me.
I could feel all the energy exchanged between me and all these people. I could sense how the energy flowed when we shook hands, or when I patted them on the back. I couldn’t understand why this didn’t happen everytime I used to go walking. it’s an amazing feeling. and then it hit me again. what do all these people have in common? dogs. even the guy who wasn’t walking his dog, turned out to have a dog farm which he was going to. I decide I should write this experience down.
with the intense feeling still with me, I feel that people should live with animals hand in hand. we should share this world without boundaries or limits. we should interact, and talk to each other at every occassion. it’s wrong to pass so close to each other on the road, and not interact. this creates negativity, and discomfort with the other. any one of those people, and all of then could be my best friend. oh! what I love I have for all living beings. from now on, I’m replacing the word living being with “loving” being. that’s our true nature. why mask it with something else? something mondane? we are loving beings. and that’s how I’ll live my life.
p.s. to those of you who celebrate christmas: have a merriest christmas