One year ago we brought this puppy home.
Her mother—a stray Lab —had birthed her babies on the side of a freeway and hidden them in nearby bushes. After they were rescued and settled in a foster home, we met the litter and fell for Zoe. She was too young to be adopted, so we had to wait to bring her home.
Our family spent that time falling more in love with her. We gushed over pictures we’d taken, and Zoe’s foster mom sent us videos of her with her siblings. For one long month, we prepared for her arrival like she was already a part of our pack.
Zoe, on the other hand, had no idea we existed.
The day we brought her home, she was understandably nervous. She wanted to be okay, but I could tell from her grunts and whimpers she wasn’t sure.
After all, she’d been taken from everything she remembered. And she didn’t remember us. As much as we adored Zoe, to her we were strangers in a strange land.
She had no reason to believe in our goodness.
So we just loved and loved and loved her.
Eventually, she began to trust us, and settle into her unfamiliar world. Things were weird, unsettled and scary. She had to adapt or stay afraid.
I can’t help noticing the parallels in our world right now.
In many ways we’re all strangers in a strange land.
(Hey, Global Pandemic. I’m looking at you!)
For many of us, the future feels like a complete unknown. Some are worried things will never change. Others are worried they already have.
(For the record, I realize some crises won’t be solved by optimism. Systemic injustice requires real action. That’s a different blog post.)
But in the face of so much uncertainty, it’s easy to sink into despair. To latch onto fear as a safer choice than hope.
A lot of us are in Zoe’s old boat right now. Adrift and crowded. Terrified to capsize.
Maybe you already feel like you’re under water.
Maybe it helps to know you’re not alone. Maybe your heart finds peace in shared circumstance. As for me, I’m choosing to believe there’s goodness out there that’s bigger than I know.
This may sound corny, but allow me to suggest that you are loved for sure. By a family member. By a friend. By me.
Yes, even if we’ve never met, if you’re reading this, I care. And I’m so glad that you’re here.
(For the record, this is as close as I get to anything religious or spiritual.)
Sure life is different than we expected and nothing we’re prepared for. But I want to trust that we’ll get where we’re supposed to go if we all keep moving forward.
I believe there’s space on the boat for everyone.
We just have to make room.
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