I almost turned back. As I stepped out onto the front porch, the rain began to fall.
But getting out the door is a challenge for me and, dammit, I had gotten out the door. So I stood there. And waited. If it was going to be a slight drizzle, I could handle it. If it was going to be a deluge, I could not.
My mind went to the people in Houston. I had been watching their suffering for days, had been brought to tears by the confusion on the faces of the innocents: the elderly, the children, and the animals. What is happening? Why is it happening? What should I do?
I wanted to be there, to be helping, to be offering comfort.
Clearly the urge to rescue is universal. But we seem to need a cataclysmic event to trigger the response. Helping with everyday events, everyday crisis, everyday struggles – life gets in the way.
The rain stopped almost as soon as it had started, and so I left the relative safety of the porch, and headed to whichever store I stopped at first. To my surprise, I walked further than I have all summer, to the store where my son and I used to shop, before we had alternatives. Being the labour day weekend – or because there are now alternatives – the store was eerily empty.
Where is everyone, I thought. Why is no one here?
This is very strange.
And then I walked all the way home in the blazing sunlight, carrying my groceries.