The photo I shared I snapped with my smartphone many years ago.
It captured my deceased King Charles Cavalier, Pink Petunia, gnawing on my ex-wife’s fancy lady shoes and scarves.
In my martial journey, I learned a great deal about women’s apparel. The big takeaway being a single word, expensive.
So, as you might imagine, at the time, I was angry with Pinky for almost destroying the merchandise.
Unfortunately, I have a nasty temper. And I barked down at this diminutive face. Shame on me!
I inspected the dainty, soft leather shoes and silk scarves, and nothing seemed damaged.
I forgave Pinky. How could I not?
I loved Pink. But then Pink looked up at me with those hypnotic eyes.
It was my turn to ask for forgiveness after I had irrationally yelled at her. It was just a bunch of stuff, we can replace stuff.
I picked her up and hugged her. I quickly showered her with treats.
As the statement from a certain movie, her eyes “had me at hello”.
Fast forward to earlier this morning.
As I walked near the downtown St Petersburg waters, I sometimes escape into a palm tree arboretum.
An arboretum is a fancy word for palm tree exhibit with the botanical names that I cannot pronounce, written on green exhibit signage.
It’s quite nice, it’s circuitous, and it’s quiet. And spectacularly beautiful.
The reason for my escape from my normal concrete path was for some odd reason on certain mornings I notice other humans talk loudly or seem daft enough to listen to music and destroy the silence.
They annoyed me.
Or they were pecking away on their smartphones and almost bump into me.
Again, they annoyed me.
If they took a moment, they might notice other humans sitting cross-legged along the water’s edge gazing across lower Tampa Bay as the sun emerges above the horizon.
Many of those other human beings meditating and trying to absorb hopeful energy or release negative energy. I know, I know, I am one of those odd people.
Or maybe they might notice the dolphins hunting a school of baitfish while being observed by a brown pelican.
Perhaps they might notice the snowy egret plotting a redfish heist from a distracted fisherman leaning against a tall palm tree as he was untangling his line.
Or they might hear the birds chirping in the light blue sky and within the thorny palm fronds.
Much earlier as I had begun my walk, I had noticed within the fading darkness several homeless humans sleeping on park benches; I tried to walk passed them silently. But I noticed them.
And I noticed along Beach Drive a homeless man searching the trash receptacles for a meal. All his worldly possessions stuffed into a backpack.
I don’t know how to help them.
I suspect most are mentally ill.
Mental illness is a nasty thief. When it comes to a mental illness, I know I’m powerless.
But then, during my escape from the human noise makers, that, did I mention had annoyed me? I walked near an older couple.
He could barely walk. She was in much better shape.
What struck me was that she stayed close behind him. The red brick path wide enough for all three of us. She could have easily strolled next to him.
He said hello to me. He had bright pure light blue eyes trapped inside a wrinkled body. His hands clutching a padded walker.
She smiled at me from behind her protective mask. It was her eyes that told me she was smiling. I don’t think she was his caregiver.
I don’t think it matters.
What does matter to me, she was there.
She stayed close behind him, I guessed, to catch him if he fell.
It was a simple feeling I got from her. She was there for him, and she was happy to patiently remain there.
I walked a bit farther and stopped and I looked back at them.
I thought, isn’t that THE WHAT we all want?
Someone to forgive us if we gnaw on the fancy women’s shoes.
Someone to share with us compassion and understanding.
Someone to tolerate us for doing the wrong thing.
Someone to help us up after we have fallen down.
Someone to encourage us and tell us we’ll be okay.
Someone to be there if we have lost our way.
Someone to accept us if we have gone astray.
That special someone, I hope for everyone.
I hope someone will be there for me, someday.
And I hope I can be that someone, someday.