Those We Meet on the Journey

Here in Victoria where I live, on the edge of leafy outer Melbourne, our lockdown has been extended for yet another week. That’s the fourth time this past year. I’ve lost track of the number of days.

So, I’ve been out walking again. To be honest I’ve never walked as much as I have in the past 18 months. I’m sure Harry, my faithful walking companion, doesn’t mind at all. But at 15 years old he’s slowing down. He no longer has the exuberance he once had, and our walks resemble more of a sniff stroll than a power walk. But he’s always the first one out the door. Nearly everyone has nicknamed him “Hairy Maclary”, he’s well known and likewise he recognises his favourite walkers who stop and give him pats and treats.

We’ve met all sorts out on our walks.

The other day we met the Dulux puppy. For those who don’t know, here in Australia for the past 60 years our Dulux paint ads have featured a HUGE old English Sheep Dog as it’s mascot. The newest Dulux puppy, at only eight months old, was massive and exuberant. It had WAY too much energy for Harry who’d already been walking nearly two hours. But for 30 seconds he played with a star. Dabbled his paw with fame. Cohorted with a celebrity. Was he impressed? I don’t think so. It takes more than a blonde sheep dog to impress this old pooch.

Then yesterday I met a couple of council sub contractors, two guys doing some pest control work. We chatted and I met the ferrets they use to snuff out the rabbit population. Harry was only marginally interested in them. I think he’d prefer to chase the rabbits.

Later on, the same walk, I met a masked up young mum and her 3yo toddler dressed like a little fairy. When I smiled and complimented her on her outfit she corrected me. “It’s not a fairy dress, it’s a rainbow dress” she said pointing to her rainbow. Little Miss Rainbow then began to bond with a very patient Harry, while my social hello with her mum turned into a bit more of a chat. Before I knew it she was opening up to me.

I learnt she was struggling, both physically and emotionally, and especially since the lockdowns. I got a glimpse of loneliness, stress and exhaustion and my heart went out to her. In that moment standing on a bridge in the middle of nature I offered her what I could: a listening ear, encouragement, friendship and a sense of connection.

I mentioned the friendly council workers I’d passed, with their funny looking ferrets. By the time we parted ways we’d exchanged names. Carly had dropped her mask, literally and figuratively, and as we waved goodbye I swear her step was lighter.

So all this reminded me of the many people that we meet on our travels. The friendships and connections we make. Some last a lifetime, others are fleeting, but they all have a purpose, a story and a place.

Although we’re not able to travel at the moment and the timing sucks with the long weekend coming up I delved into my archives for a peak at some of the characters we’ve met on our travels. So many!

Frisky camels in the territory, smoochy dogs in pubs, thirsty kangaroos at Mungo, and plenty of humans. The people we meet along the way, the experiences we have, the camaraderie and unexpected moments all shape our human tapestry. And then there are those synchronicities. You know the ones: “fancy meeting you here”, “it’s a small world”. It’s amazing to realise how small the world really is, how we’re so inter connected. The Universe is always speaking to us, sending us signs and synchronicities, reminding us to stop, look around and believe in something else, something more.

“It’s a small world but we all run in big circles.”

I met this charmer in June last year while I was out walking. Cheeky, confident, curious, I swear he was posing for me. We all show our different sides when we’re out in the world, don’t we? We put on our best face and act like we’ve got it all figured out. It’s called cultural conditioning.

Sometimes when we scratch a little deeper, beyond the casual hellos, something magical happens. At a time when people are dealing with their own inner dramas and emotions are high, dropping the mask with a kind word and friendly smile can change everything. Who knows what impact you could make in someone’s life, simply with a tiny gesture, whether you’re the giver or receiver. Stopping, reaching out and embracing our humanness makes the world a far better place.

Dogs epitomise the greatest life lessons. Love unconditionally, live in the moment, follow your instincts and accept all of life’s treats with gratitude.

Let’s savour the journey, foster kindness and connection and live with an open and loving heart. Maybe then we’ll begin to heal the world.

Love always,
Miriam


We’re all connected over land and water from birth. Humans, animals, Mother Nature and the Earth.


70 thoughts on “Those We Meet on the Journey

  1. It’s a small world and we do tend to run around in big circles. And sometimes, more often than not, lending an ear can lead to a lot of connections. And yes, dogs so epitomise the life lessons. If all started thinking along these lines, maybe we can heal all the scars. Take care, Miriam

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  2. We are not in lockdown and it’s easy to forget what people are going through when you’re feeling sweet relief for second vaccination. Thank you for the reminder to be gentle with people (I work with people all over the world). I love that you gave that young mom what she needed in the moment–personal connection. And here, in another corner of the world, we too are taking sniff strolls. I try to be patient and remember they won’t last forever . . .

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  3. What a lovely post. A lot of times people need a person to simply listen. Bless you for lending your ear. The critters look like fun. Was that you getting a kiss from the camel?

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      1. You would think, but so many people don’t want to take the time to listen. Kissing a camel is better than smoking Camel. Although, I know people who would disagree with that.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done Miriam, a smile, a nod a friendly exchange can mean so much to people and lift them unexpectedly. You never know what people are going through and a little kindness can go a long way.
    Sending good vibes your way. 😊🌈

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  5. Such a lovely post Miriam and your listening ear would have made Carly feel much better as you are such a beautiful genuine soul. Thinking of you as you have another week of lockdown to endure. My sister was hoping to come up on the long weekend but that won’t happen now, I feel your pain!

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    1. Hi Deb, yes, so many people with stuffed up plans, it’s crazy and I’m sorry you’ve been impacted too. Thanks so much for your kind words. Hope you have a great weekend. xx

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  6. Thank goodness for Miriam❤️ For being the example of patience, kindness and connected to everything around. I’m sure you’ll be out again shortly, I heard they were doing final clearing of darkness around your area🧐 Enjoy your local walks and it’s a great time to delve into past archives reshaping beautiful adventures and photos you have❤️ Sending love x

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    1. Thanks Barbara, such kind words. And yes, you may well be right about that dark clearing. There’s so much going on behind the scenes. Sending much ove back. x ❤️

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  7. What would we be without people and animals around us? In these special times we have really learned to appreciate what we used to take for granted. Hopefully, we are starting to see an end to the limitations that have been imposed on us lately.

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    1. Indeed Otto, there’ve been many silver linings and lessons during this time. Gratitude for the simple things is right up there. Amen to the end of limitations. A lot of it I think will be up to us!

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  8. Wonderful and lovely post, Miriam. So nice to see excellent pictures of these beautiful animals and especially dogs who give us unconditional love. Even I have a golden retriever and her name is Amber. To be thankful to God for all his divine creation and to be loving and kind towards one and all is what life is all about. Thankful for your share.

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    1. Yes indeed, gratitude is key. Thank you so much dear Kamal for your kind words and please give Amber a pat for me. Dogs truly are a wonderful source of unconditional love. 💙

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  9. The best thing about getting out and about walking is always meeting new people and sharing a few moments of friendship with them. We meet so many interesting strangers on our wandering, makes every day so different doesn’t it? You don’t need to go far to have a mini-adventure.

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    1. That’s so true. It really is all in our perspective and the way we see the world. I’ve walked these trails so many times, still love it! Have a great weekend. 😊

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  10. I’m so glad you connected with that young mother! Sometimes we are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to help someone who really needs it. I’m so sorry you’re in yet another lock-down. I know it’s an effort to contain the virus, but I have to sometimes think that the cost is an awfully high one, and that we won’t know the true effects of the lock downs for a long time yet. Hang in there, Miriam….and I had no idea Harry was 15! He looks great!

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    1. I honestly think the cost of these lockdowns, in terms of mental health, economic loss and loss of freedoms is far worse than any perceived threat. We have to learn to live with this “virus” just as we’ve learnt to live with all other flus in history. Time to get on with our lives. Thanks Ann and Harry says thanks too! 😊

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      1. I couldn’t agree more! But I get so tired of people who believe that being accused of “not taking the pandemic seriously.” We do take it seriously. We just don’t believe it’s the only problem our world is facing, and are tired of everyone acting as though it it. My husband was diagnosed with cancer during the middle of this mess, so I know first-hand how hard it is to get other kinds of care when everyone is so focused on Covid! Luckily, he’s at the end of his treatment now.

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        1. I totally hear you Ann and couldn’t agree more. We need to be able to get on with our lives and that means looking after the needs, health and well being of those we love. I so hope your husband’s treatment is going well Ann. Sending you both love, strength and good wishes.

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  11. My daily solace are the walks I take by gardens, through our urban forest, on magical paths beside the lagoon and down to the ocean…your beautiful walks speak of quiet reflection and precious connection…this uplifting post comes as our part of the world slowly opens up. I’m so glad I stopped by, Miriam and wish you more travel and adventures when Melbourne opens up again!

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  12. Dogs, like some of us humans, forget how old they are and still want to push the limits of their abilities 🙂 I did enjoy your retelling of conversations, especially the one with the little girl. Random conversations can be quite interesting. I do hope the lockdown isn’t for long, Miriam.

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    1. Oh, I do agree Suzanne. Sometimes these little unexpected social interactions are the highlight of my walks. And yes, fingers crossed this lockdown ends soon.

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  13. Like you I have lost track of the days here in Melbourne. They all seem to blur into one another. Hopefully lockdown ends later this week. It seemed to be very sudden…then again, last year was so uncertain. It was very nice of you to chat with the young mum and seemed like she appreciated your small gesture for a chat. Sometimes reaching out or just showing a little kindness will make someone feel better. Agreed there are many friendships and connections we make. It can be so lovely to make a genuine connection and have an impact on our lives and other lives too. When you scratch a little deeper, it can be the start of something new

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    1. Hi Mabel, I agree with you, the days all seem to be blurring into one. It’s so important we keep our vibration high, as hard as it is sometimes, cos there’s a lot of fear around at the moment. Connecting with others certainly helps. Yes, here’s hoping our lockdown ends this week. Hope you’re doing ok. xx

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      1. Yes, there is a lot of fear at the moment. Also a lot of uncertainty and the possibility there will be another lockdown again in the future. We are doing okay over here. Hope we all get to go out again very soon. Take care, Miriam x

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  14. Ahh . so you also have the Dulux puppy adverts! They are adorable and have been going for so long here in the UK – not surprising! Miriam, it is amazing how much we have all walked this past year – my virtual one currently taking me along the St. Francis trek between Florence and Rome as I walk the fields close to home!

    It’s wonderful that you befriended the woman and her daughter and I’m sure she left much happier, her spirits lifted. Have you been in touch since? How true about friendships made out and about always touch us and others. That “Some last a lifetime, others are fleeting, but they all have a purpose, a story and a place.” Some even make it into stories & books! 😀

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    1. Hi Annika, yes we’ve all walked a thousand miles this past year and I’m sure it’s been the best therapy for most of us. Love the fact that we’ve met so many interesting characters along the way, including my recent run in with the Dulux pup. What a dog!
      And yes, even Miss Fairy and her mum. I’d like to tell them they starred in my post but I haven’t seen them since. ☺️

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        1. Oh, I’m so happy for you. You lucky ducks! Our friends just managed to get out in time too. Enjoy that beautiful sunshine. We’re fine here, waiting to be able to pick up our van and then hopefully within the next month we’ll be out of here too. 😊

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  15. I feel it is only a matter of time until life gets back to normal. The vaccination has started and soon you will be travelling again The Duluth puppy is just gorgeous and your dog is spending more time with you than never before this alone is a blessing because he is aging and the memories you are making night will be forever cherished Beautiful images as always Nobody cross our paths without a reason Much love Cris

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    1. To be quite honest Cris I don’t think we’ll ever get back to “normal”. Life is changing constantly but you’re right about the blessings, the people we meet and the experiences we have. Everything is a choice and free will is always ours. Sending you much love. xx

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  16. Miriam, we were locked down for well over one year and those I met at times just as you described, just needed an ear, so I gave them mine. Kindness goes a long ways and I know what it feels like to be both on the recipient end and the giver end. So many were so stressed (still are!) it was all I could do not to burst into tears. I am so sorry you are again in lockup. I honestly don’t know if I could survive another one. In my opinion, it is torture. I’ll be praying for you. (((HUGS)))!!! xo

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    1. Thank you dear Amy, I know you understand. Honestly, we’ve all had enough, it’s so incredibly senseless and there’s simply no basis for these lock downs now. People are just blindly obeying directives. But I’m doing my best not to dwell on what I see around me. I’m focusing on the future I want to create, on the beauty of nature, on freedom, travel and a world of our own making. Thanks for the prayers my friend. I’m sending lots of love back your way. xx 🙏❤️

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  17. you always say what I think so well Miriam, paired with fascinating photos … you touch our hearts deeply!

    Take care, be safe on your big adventure … looking forward to hearing about it 🙂

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    1. Masks were mandatory here too, outside as well, till only recently. But I’m a big believer in discernment, common sense and free will. There comes a point where we have to think for ourselves. 🙏

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  18. I enjoyed this post and I love this “Sometimes when we scratch a little deeper, beyond the casual hellos, something magical happens.” that is very true, and I am glad you meet carly and little miss rainbow.

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