I would like to introduce you to Mr. Scheister. He is probably the kindest dog you will ever meet. He loves everyone equally, no matter who you are. His only agressive bone in his body is his tail as he has it wagging morning, noon and night. That is unless he is sleeping, which is how he spends most of his time. His story is that he had a very warm, loving home. The couple was married and trained him well. They took him to be boarded on numerous ocassions, but on the last one, it was when they got a divorce. And, they never came back. (I cannot judge another, their reasons I know not so it is not I who can say the reason why) Where he was boarded, they kept him there for about a year and a half. No one would take him, due to his breed. We ventured there with the intention of getting a german shepard, but the one they showed us she had no interest in us at all. She was rather aloof to say the least. It is my intention for them to pick us, not us them. So, the owner asked what I was looking for and I told him. He said he had a dog to show us, “Scheister”. There was no way we would leave there without him, as he immediately took to us. Warned I was not to leave him unattented when we got home especially with the door open, because he may want to escape. Was also told that he may be rather hyper for a few days. That too was not a concern. He got to the house, came inside and laid down beside the computer as I worked. His past I know not, but none of our pasts are what really matter as much as what we are doing now, today.
What Scheister has taught me is a lesson in compassion and consideration. While he was someone I never expected to meet, and he because of his breed, not one that I had on my radar. I too had been unfoundly influenced, programmed and had misinformation that swayed me from thinking about him as an option. I had, and continue to see, news stories with a label attached linking him to others as if they were one.
They will not care to meet him. Even if they did, would it make a difference? Fear is a powerful force. It clouds reason.
When faced with fear, I am happy that I chose the opposite, love. Instead of listening to the masses, I chose to listen to my own heart. I am better because of it.
He chose us initially, and continues to share his only emotion and because of that those who get to know him are better for knowing him.
We as humans have the beautiful capacity to agree to disagree; we as people need not see eye to eye; and, we as brothers and sisters need not always get a long.
We can though make the concscious effort to be kind, considerate even respectful to those of oppositing viewponts, ideological differences, and to those that are simply different. The capacity is there just as the hand has the ability to both be open, and receiving or closed, in a clenched fist.
Life is not going to be miraciously harmonious. Not all violence is going to instaneously halt, but the fighting we have in the world extends inward and extinguishing the acrimony inside is a step towards changing the cycle.
Love is not merely an emotional state of being but rather an energy of being. Being able to see the reflection revealing that beauty, which is echoed in the mirror is like a sunrise of deliverance.
The light shining so blindingly bright that squinting is a necessity affords only two explanations. Either this is the end, or only the beginning. Is it not the light that is equated with spiritual illumination not to mention one’s final demise?
Eyes, as auto adjusting they are, begin to adjust. The open field with a cement foundation that once may have been the residence of someone’s home or business now but history on the side of the busy street. Walking distance from the car is a forest of trees.
“Want to see our home?” She gestured as we entered into the depth of the woods. Looking back, as the vehicle disappeared into the distance; the obvious remnants of civilizations began to materialize. The customary empty soda cans, shopping carts, broken bottles, and other debris littered the sides of the path etched into the ground after years of following the same trail.
Once inside an entirely new world materialized in an open clearing with an encampment of several small tents forming a circle with a fire pit in the middle. There a small flame was flickering as we were welcomed with open arms from the rest of her neighbors.
She was giddy. They all were. To have visitors must be such a delight for them. We are social beings after all. With no trepidation they each approached me with their own stories of how they fell from grace and ended up outside in this their permanent dwelling place.
Their obvious leader, a rather brooding figure sitting in a recliner with a machete at his side on the ground holds the fort together. He, much younger than the rest also looks much less disheveled. While there could be some interpretation there was something menacing about him, it was more his watchful eye that surely keeps unwanted outsiders out of their humble abode.
The spiral descending slide was a rapid one. “I lost my job. Then, my wife left me and took everything with her. She took it all. I had a falling out with my parents early on and have not spoken to them in years. I lost my house, my car and had no place to go.” Not a social person, there were no friends who would take him in. Somehow, he ended up here with the rest of them. He spoke proudly of being a construction foreman living the American dream. He asked about the mall that was nearby our own home back home and he was a part of building that. Ironically, it now sits empty. Homeless, too.
The others around him sipping their re-used cans filled with something that was obviously taking their mind to someplace far, far away. Comprehension was far gone for all but him. Being out in the elements for so long, it could readily be seen on their weathered faces and tattered clothes but verified when each of them spoke with their conversations going in and out of reality.
There was something pragmatic about their existence. They though having nothing to offer invited me not only to dinner for a bite of canned beans that they were going to being passing around the open fire, but they welcomed me to visit any time I was in the area. There was something enlightening seeing how they not only survived but found a sense of community amongst themselves.
In between the trees, there again the light pierced the veil and had my hand up protecting my eyes. Were they seeing the light, out here, or going toward the light? And, in all my travels where was I?