As I continue to walk Harvey in the early morning, I am noticing one benefit which is surprising to me…
Meeting other walkers.
It is not surprising to me that there are other walkers, but it is surprising that I am enjoying the greetings from them and to them.
The main reason I go early is because it is quiet then, with few people pounding the streets.
Yet, I enjoy saying hi to walkers with dogs and workers walking to the train station.
We are an innately British village. My Northern Ireland relatives think it very strange that everyone is so unfriendly. In Northern Ireland, everyone says hi to everyone else. Whereas, here, they can walk along a road, passing many people and only a few will say anything.
I think early morning dog walkers must be of a different caliber because, without fail, everyone says hello and exchanges dog pats.
And it adds something to my day.
I have read that if you smile it automatically makes you feel happier, even if you have nothing to smile about.
I wonder if this is the same for smiling at fellow dog walkers.
Smiling and saying hi feels good.
It is such a simple thing, and one I have never really thought about. But I think it is true. Just the very physical process of smiling and greeting another human, wishing them well for the day ahead, is cathartic and joy-giving.
As an extreme introvert, the enjoyment of this brief conversing is surprising to me.
No longer do I look down on the ground as I pass a stranger.
No, now I greet them with a huge smile on my face, hoping that it blesses them in the same way it is blessing me.