Monday, April 27, 2009

Peace in the valley.

I was caught up in the normally mundane last Saturday afternoon, headed out to check my mail. That's when I noticed something happening on the sidewalk. It took me a few seconds to realize what was happening, but then I saw it: blood. Dark and purple and splattered. There was a lot of it. It was on his hands and arms and all over his dog, the one he was carrying in his arms, the subdued Scottish Terrier. The neighbor-man and I made eye contact shortly before he slipped into the back seat of his friend's car and he asked if I'd place his groceries just inside the door of my complex ... and I did. I noticed there were doggie biscuits in one of the bags.

The short story is that the dog across the street, some kind of pitbull/boxer mix by the looks of him, had torn into this dog, less than half his size. I don't know any circumstances beyond that. I don't even now know if he is okay. I just know that the cough of a moment really twisted me up on the inside. Made me ponder some on the fragility of life, dog or no. If you'd seen the man holding his pet, you'd have seen the care and concern that he was wearing on his face as well; it may as well have been his child.

It reminds me of a day not so long ago on the commute home when I saw two ducks in the middle of the freeway. They were far, far away from any kind of pond and obviously very confused by their surroundings. One had been recently hit by a car and was likely dead, I think ... there were feathers still hanging in the air ... and the other had the sense to be waddling slowly away, while still looking back. He seemed to know what he needed to do on the one hand, yet was hesitant about having to do it all the same.

Again, the story lacked any kind of an ending. And still I was haunted by what I had seen. Thinking of it now, I find I still am.

These are the things I recalled today as I sought for and discovered peace repeatedly. Perhaps, when confronted with the experiences that rattle our insides without any kind of preparation, perhaps it's then that we gravitate to the stuff that can't help but calm us. The 3-mile run around Liberty tonight did that for me. Sitting crosslegged on my balcony at dusk, eating a spinach-avocado-cottage cheese salad amidst the city sounds did as well. Going to bed just minutes from now, knowing there's early morning soccer on the flipside of this evening? I predict that'll give me some peace inside my soul, too.

It's a start, you know?

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