Yet firsthand, I have watched human beings hardened and callused beyond my words care for things beyond my comprehension. I can only assume they caused so much destruction in their lives when something inside them snapped, there was an insatiable need to nurture something.
Something as simple as sneaking out a few slices of bread to feed the pigeons can make all the difference in the world. One of us is even guilty of cooking brown rice for our feathered friends in the winter. This happened after I realized the bread was not helping them any. Then, it is comical to listen to a bunch of convicted killers debate the nutritional value of white bread compared to pigeons dietary needs.
I recently managed to rescue a half-frozen luna moth. The word moth didn’t do this animal any justice. Far from your drab garden-variety insect, its delicate palm-sized powdered wings appeared painted and its plump over-stuffed body looked as though Mother Nature assembled it herself. Then, considering the ancient Greeks believed the soul left the body in the form of a moth, I could only wonder who’s I was attempting to nurse back to health, or at the very least get back to room temperature. I had to wonder if I was nurturing a soul passing from one place to another or if it was nurturing mine.
Filling the potholes of our souls is not exclusive to convicts. The eccentric old widow with the cats and plants, the rich businessman with the Arabian horses he never rode and I am more than sure some of the same veterans who graciously shared “Let Freedom Ring“ have a wide assortment of pets. Those innocuous furry, finned, or feathered things you love, that give you a reason to forget.
Maybe these cherished things were acquired during an internal conflict of self-acceptance; maybe to escape the past, or grow beyond the present. Or maybe they repaired a longing to flee the un-inspired, or the emptiness of a past tragedy. Like the cat lady next door to you, or the serial killer next to me, we all share common ground in needing something. Then, whatever it is, it often has to fill a void of epic depths.