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There are many things in life that we consider bonds, but whether these bonds are good or bad depends on what they are and why they are. Being bound can mean you are held back from something good. It can mean you are being held against your will. It can mean you are enslaved. But being bound can also mean you are connected to someone in friendship and love. It can mean you are safely anchored. It can mean you are secured or tethered so you won’t fall.

Quite some time ago I went with a friend to walk his dog. The dog’s collar was removed to put on his harness and leash, and when we were done the harness was removed and the collar replaced. At the time my friend wasn’t in a happy mood, so as he was putting the dog’s collar back on he sadly said something about trading one set of chains for another.

But I got to thinking. A collar for a dog is not meant as a chain to shackle him from freedom. It is made to signify that he belongs to someone and that he is loved. We put collars on our dogs so that if they are lost, whoever finds them will know they belong to someone and may attempt to return them.

Bonds can be either restrictive or protective. Chains can be either heavy shackles or beautiful jewellery.