Despite the past several days throwing us some curve balls (I fell down the steps this morning–no broken bones but some pretty impressive cuts and bruises), I woke up feeling generally okay. Sure, the heat in our apartment still doesn’t work because our boiler almost blew us up last week. And sure, every day, the news reminds us that the country is crumbling. And yet, as I tried to express in last week’s post, good things are still happening. Maybe that’s why I can handle wiping out on my back steps, spitting toothpaste all over the room and nearly breaking my elbow. I can take that. Because on the bright side, I still don’t have to live through another November 8th, 2016.
After that terrible week, I felt paralyzed. I felt that no matter what I did, nothing could fight this national disaster. But as the days passed, and our clouds of fear slowly parted, many of us started finding very small, very subtle ways of trying to improve the days of those around us. A coworker approached me about a Secret Santa for local low-income seniors, another friend arranged us to volunteer at a homeless shelter. While I was there, I bumped into another friend, totally unrelated to the first arrangement, who had come just to volunteer with her husband. Because she knew she had to do something. Because of these, and some other random opportunities for acts of kindness, this was one of the most fulfilling holiday seasons I’ve ever experienced.
The country has seen this too. A record-breaking donation season, a huge increase of women running for local offices, people stepping up to defend strangers, just to name a few.
But I’m not here to pat myself on the back. I’m actually here to talk about a Camino story (surprise!).
The Camino of Animals
Ben and I were chatting about this phenomenon last night–people’s call to action after the election. It’s easy to feel that small acts are too insubstantial when the headlines tell you that no matter what you do, an unstoppable sentiment of hate and intolerance has been reawakened in our country. It’s hard to feel that leaving a larger tip on someone’s bill, or going out of your way to say something friendly to a stranger really matters at all. Why donate one place, when there are so many groups that need our attention?