This morning I cursed inwardly when, for the thousandth time, Kasey and Penny got tangled and we had to stop our walk and sort things out. A few moments later I grumbled again when an undetected jogger startled me by announcing her presence when she was right behind me and ready to pass by.
Then my thoughts wandered to what’s happening in Syria and other troubled places, and I thought: I’m lucky to live where I can take my dogs for a quiet walk in the pre-dawn hours without risking life and limb.
The walls in our town aren’t riddled with bullet holes. I don’t see syringes or broken crack pipes on the doorstep when I walk outside. I don’t hear gunshots or the sound of fistfights when darkness falls. My friends and family members haven’t been blown to bits by suicide bombers. Armed gangs don’t roam my neighborhood. And I don’t have to worry about jackbooted soldiers kicking in our door or destroying our house with shelling.
When I hurt my back a few weeks ago and every sudden movement was intensely painful, I realized as I had never realized before how wonderful it is to be able to move without pain. It’s one of those things, perhaps, that you cannot fully appreciate until it’s gone and you understand how awful the alternative can be.
Personal security, I think, falls into the same category. If you are safe and snug in your tidy neighborhood, it’s hard to fathom what it must be like to have to worry constantly about the smallest things and then try to earn a living or function as a family. I imagine the people in the war-torn parts of the world would give just about anything for a chance to take a peaceful walk with dogs.