I'm walking up to my car this morning after dropping N at school, and I see a small white dog streak down the main (ish) thoroughfare I park on. It makes a sharp left and turns up a side street.
I stop and look; a few blocks above, I see a man walking his dog. I see him begin gesturing, pointing down the side street. I see a woman appear at a full-out run, following his gestures. She's not young; she's not dressed to run like this. She disappears down the side street.
I get into my car and wait for traffic to allow me to make a U-turn. I head up to the side street where the dog and the woman had disappeared. I'll pick her up, I've decided; we'll go up and down the streets until she finds the dog.
But I'm too late. Up the block I see another car, another minivan with the school's bumper sticker on it, open its doors. The woman climbs in, and they're off. I follow, just in case I can help. About two blocks later, past another 'main' north-south street, the car pulls over, stops; the woman gets out, scoops up the dog.
I'm definitely no longer needed. I pass the car, my window open, and I hear the dog-lady thanking the driver of the car; she's still panting, and there are tears streaming down her face.
"I can't...I just can't...thank..."
There are days and times--amidst oil spills and irrational hatreds and children senselessly dying--that it feels like too much. All of it. Too much.
But then a man points, and a woman opens her car door, and a puppy is scooped up into loving arms, and it doesn't fix anything, it doesn't negate any of it, but it makes it all possible again. Even if just for a day, even if just for a little while. There's hope; there's grace.
Right there in front of me.