The taking and loss of life has been front and center in my recent days. You might want to know a few things about me before we continue (and don't worry...after reading that intro, I want to state right up front this DOES NOT include any jail time or harbored thoughts of extreme violence. Promise.):
1) I've been a practicing vegetarian for about 2 1/2 years. There are many reasons for this; none of which necessitates any judgment on those who choose to eat meat. I'd contemplated this for years (and attempted an unhealthy stint in college) - a final straw was watching all of the episodes of "Planet Earth". The taking of life there, in however natural and necessary a situation, made me re-evaluate my own choices. Basically I don't eat anything I wouldn't be comfortable preparing on my own....from Start to Finish.
2) I'm not a total girly-girl - I cringe at those random centepedes & millipedes we find and won't go within viewing distance of a hairy spider unless there is a thick glass cage between us - but I'm totally ok with the random creepy crawly thing.
3) I hate taking life. Again, not just talking about the " 'Chicago'-type-Velma-Kelly-Roxie-Hart" taking of life (you wouldn't want to hear me sing about it)...I mean of any sentient being. If I find a spider in the house, I will use a cup and piece of paper to transport it outside. Likewise, a few wasps who have found their way in recently found their way back outside - alive - on the tip of a long broom.
So...keeping that in mind, here are three tales for you.
The past 48 hours have challenged my every nerve. I have squished more ants than I care to admit. Every time that I do, I say out loud, "Sorry" (as if that does anything!) and a couple-second long prayer for its life.
Here's where a lot of people (okay, most people) may be raising their eyebrows - but others are frowning and crying out "poor ants!".
I'll just say it is an ongoing struggle for me and I totally feel as though I'm screwing with my karma.
Now you know.
During a blissful VERY early morning run on Sunday with my brother and sister, we ended up running a bit apart (different paces). No troubles...I ended up with a running partner anyway.
We were running along back roads and at one point, a (THANKFULLY) friendly dog started running between my sister and I and jumping on us both. This dog was some type of Sheppard (sp?) mix - beautiful but BIG. He ended up befriending me and stayed right with me.
Except for the occasional times that he tried to run in front of me or jump on me, I really didn't mind the partner. He mainly jaunted off to chase horses or cows or explore the random pond and tick off the geese. But every time, he came back to my side.
I started to get concerned when we got towards busier roads and he still wasn't heading home. Not only that, but he seemed to be oblivious to cars. Countless times I was stopping and yelling, "Dog!" and frantically waving my arms at an approaching car. (I wonder what each driver was thinking, probably not the least of which was "Why doesn't she control her dog?!?!")
This dog stayed with me for approximately 4 miles - all the way back to the house. I knew after about 3 miles that he wasn't heading home. I knew after car #1 that I wasn't going to just leave him.
Graciously my mom drove me and my newfound partner (in our minivan - yeah, that thing truly has paid for itself in convenience - don't knock it.) back to the area that he joined me on my run. She approached the house and was met by an elderly gentleman who confirmed it was "his" dog...it had just ended up at his house awhile ago and he had been taking care of it.
This sweet man couldn't even see well enough to get back to his house once he was at our car. The dog, however, looked quite comfortable and knew right where to go to get food and water. My mom did offer to take the dog to the Humane Society if he desired, but he said to just leave the dog there.
I left with such mixed feelings. Again, trying to avoid thinking too much - and yet...
Both that loving man who took in a dog and that loving dog who put his big, stinky, wet chin on my lap as we were driving him home have similar fates. As do you and I.
Thinking about how or when we will meet those fates is sometimes more than my emotional body can handle...and yet, sometimes, is just what I need to clear my mind.
In the same time span as all of this, I came across this notification in our neighboring town's (little) newspaper:
I won't comment.
Heh heh. You didn't think I'd have any mind-blowing final analysis, did you?
Sorry to disappoint you if you did.
Just like with life,
You gotta figure this one out on your own.