I was walking home from the grocery store today. I only had one bag to carry. I had a rib steak for two, a zucchini, a potato for baking and half a cherry pie. About twenty five bucks worth.
My walk was about ten or fifteen minutes. It was hot and kind of gross and I’m not as good with the heat as I used to be so I wasn’t really enjoying it. I’ve gained some weight too so my shirt felt tight but I didn’t really know what to do about that.
Earlier in the day I saw out my window a thirty year old man jogging. He was shirtless, wearing jeans and rubber boots. Shirtless and jogging in rubber boots. On purpose.
On my way, I saw a woman with two small children far ahead of me on the sidewalk. They seemed to be traveling at about half my speed, about a hundred yards ahead. I watched them. The little one on the left, with no chance of letting go of his grandmother’s hand, was about two. The little one on the right, wearing the same raincoat and rubber boots as her baby brother, only had to hold hands when crossing the street. Otherwise, she was free to chase the worms and the frogs and the flowers that the rain evoked and provoked.
I was laughing and smiling as I caught up to them, thinking this is the best part of my day, and as I passed them on the sidewalk, the lady apologized to me. Like they were taking up too much of the sidewalk. I said that was silly and I felt embarrassed that a woman with two young children on a sidewalk would have to apologize to me while I was walking home with a meal.
I’m not around young children very often. But it was nice to watch them playing so innocently.
And then it dawned on me.
These could be the little kids being put in cages.
These could be the little kids testifying in court in a language they don’t know.
These could be the little kids who will never, ever, ever, see their moms again.
And so I went home. I never saw these kid’s faces. I guess it’s easier when you don’t see their faces. But I heard their voices. And I heard one laugh and I heard one cry.
I can’t imagine the depravity.
If there’s a hell…