I can smell the sunrise, all pink and blue grey, streaking across a crystalline sky. Unlike the mainland part of the country, we who live on Hawaii island are experiencing a blessed summer cycling of spring rains, cool nights and brilliantly clear, warm days.
Usually I am not awake at this hour. It is always surprising to open the bedroom door to bleary-eyed dogs, anxious to practice their morning constitutional and, quite frankly, to be fed. Our little foundling dog emits not a whimper, soggy with sleep in her kennel. She can not yet walk on her back legs, though yesterday for the first time, she tried. Lucy sat up, then quite naturally tried to follow me. Letting out a yelp, she gazed up forlornly, then settled back down into the comfort of egg crate foam and bedding.
Two days after writing this, she drags herself along by her front legs outside on the grass, paddling her back legs like she’s riding a bike. This morning she stood up. It’s not yet quite been two weeks since discovering her by the side of the road, and we do not know whether this little creature will make it. We still need to see her elimination systems working better than they are. But that is not the point. She deserves to be granted an equal chance in life, given that one of our kind whacked her with one of our ozone-depleting, gas guzzling contraptions we somehow cannot live without. And all the world suffers as a result.
What rises up to meet us as we wind down our particular pathway in this life? On the road to Damascus, it was an injured Jew who was passed by repeatedly and finally helped by a Samaritan, back then a mortal enemy of the Jewish people. Do some of us simply turn our heads and look the other way – and then where does the imprint of that image go, lodged as it is in the human psyche? Does it spill forth in sleep, tumbling about in our heads as nightmare? Does it lodge in the body as stagnation, eventually resulting in our own disease and demise? How do we justify negating suffering?
While I understand I cannot help the world as a whole, that there is nothing the smallness that is me can do to rectify the greater ills of ignorance, greed and strife, what any and all of us can do seems to be placed squarely in front of us on a daily basis. And though inconvenient and messy at times, life is rendered far richer for those who embrace it, challenges and all.