This is a 'small story' about when a small girl pats an old dog … and makes a ripple.
|a gentle collision|
This is a small story.
I was walking the dog, my very old golden retriever, which may or may not be relevant, when I suddenly realized that I was simply a single creature on a big planet of many billions of other creatures. Many billions of other people, let alone animals.
And it didn’t matter what bottle of wine I opened last night or how much I have saved for retirement. I do worry about money a lot, which may or may not be relevant. I realized, very suddenly and very deeply, that I have no greater purpose. None of us do. People might think they do and say they do and point to the skies after they score a goal, but they do not.
None of the greater purposes are all that great, if you think about it. And that’s precisely what I was doing.
Paint another Mona Lisa? That’s just for a small subset of other humans. Build homes for Habitat for Humanity. An even smaller subset. Two hundred years from now that won’t matter. To anyone. An animal charity? I have a soft spot for animals, but, like me, they are just meat.
I looked at my old dog, who would likely not have been alive had it not been for my intervention when he was a puppy, but, still, just one animal. And likely he won’t be on this earth a year from now.
We turned the corner to the park and started walking on the path that goes by the playground. A small girl, maybe five years old, was walking back from the water fountain to the play area, directly perpendicular to us.
She intersected our path right in front of my dog and as she passed by, she patted him on the head, which he likes. The girl smiled at him and said, “Good dog.” He wagged his tail. She skipped the rest of the way to the swing set and he kept wagging his tail as we walked past the playground.
Soon, my dog paused to smell a lamppost and stopped wagging his tail. I looked back at the girl and she was sitting on the swing next to a somewhat older boy, her brother?, and she had a very serious look on her face.
The ripple of small joy, for both the girl and the dog, was gone. And likely forgotten. But so was my funk.
I told you it was a small story.