Tuesday, October 13, 2009

change in the atmosphere

Zooming along a windy country road yesterday, just before twilight, I barely noticed the tan and white bundle of fur lying on the yellow line in the center of the road. I might not have registered the road kill at all if it had not raised it's little head and looked at me just as I passed by.

For a moment I tried to convince myself that it must have been an optical illusion- my tired eyes playing tricks in the waning light. For a few more moments, I tried to convince myself that this was not my problem, that I had more important things to do than worry about a half dead dog in the middle of a busy road. But somehow, in that moment of passing, my eyes had met the eyes of the dog. I inhaled deeply as I signaled for a left turn, and let out a long sigh as I reversed onto the busy road. In the midst of shifting into drive, I noticed a car ahead of me making a quick U turn.

Safe! I thought- and pulled over for a moment to let his car go ahead of mine. Sure enough- as I reached the top of the hill, I saw a young man pull over and leap from his car. He efficiently stopped traffic both ways- grabbed a jacket from his trunk and ran to the side of the injured animal. A young woman was there ahead of him, and together they swaddled the injured puppy and placed it in her back seat. A few words, the exchange of a glance between them and traffic moved on. Passing the site once again a few seconds later- it was if nothing had ever happened.

Driving home,I let my mind wander back over the day. I had spent most of the afternoon in an unpretenious home with ordinary folks. Not the kind of people who would ever merit a second glance if passed on the street.

The conversation wound around- from death, to life and back again. Memories began to surface... Before I left, I was given the priviledge of reading some poetry that an ordinary man had written years before to his ordinary wife. The language was so beautiful that my eyes welled with tears.

It made me wonder, as I drove in the twilight. Does the atmosphere change in places where acts of kindness and love occur? Is there a shift in the universe? Noone would ever know that on that country road, two strangers met for a moment to save and protect a helpless creature. No one would guess that in an ordinary home such emotions spilled over and flowed onto a piece of paper.

My guess is that someone - somewhere- notices..... and smiles.

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