Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

The Hope A Dog Brings

Theodore is the first foster dog I've had that I have seriously considered keeping; only my conscience prevents me, or whatever I should call that niggling voice that says "You? Commit to a dog for 15 years?" He is so attentive, all I have to do is turn my head and look at him, and his tail will start wagging. Otherwise he naps nearby, rising when I do, eating the food I mix for him, quiet and attentive.

The New York winter is hitting me hard this year, and though it has been mild temperature-wise, the short days and regular rains make my skin long for sunshine and heat. I battle a cold that leaves me weary, I feel I can't get out of bed in the morning. This is always a tough time of year for me, full of withdrawal and often sadness. Socializing ceases to come easy, and I have to force myself out into the world. The soft cuddly presence of Theodore helps, though. And today, I rouse myself enough to clean the apartment, then change out of my pajamas. C takes me to the Queens Museum to see the NYC diorama, which has been on my bucket list for some years. A gargantuan, multi-year effort for the 1964 World's Fair, the diorama stretches across the floor of a special gallery, depicting all five boroughs with bridges and buildings, complete with little cars and an airplane that takes off and lands from LaGuardia.

Last night I read My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, an aggressively-written narrative about a girl growing up poor in Italy. Her voice is vulnerable but also strongly emotional; I could not put it down. Yesterday was also the inauguration of a new president, and today was the Women's March. This country is changing, it is waking up. I too, want to take up my banner, to pursue change, to put my voice to the things I care about. I look down at this quiet little dog at my feet; a beautiful dog who in the shelter was ragged and unwanted, and I realize at last that one person can make small differences that matter. That hope brings me up out of my winter gloom, that hope will keep driving me forward.
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