For those who are joining for the first time, Beth and I are parked in Savannah, Georgia with our petite RV, a twenty-two-foot camper pulled by a pickup truck. We’re on a three-month tour of four states, Georgia, Tennessee, South, and North Carolina.
In the past few days, I’ve been writing about kindness. The kindness I’m interested in is expressed in the biblical story of the Good Samaritan. I’m super-intrigued by how some people give of themselves without preconditions. My goal is to move myself into a place where love is something I give freely, without strings attached. It’s not easy when you’ve been brought up in a transactional culture, but I think I’m making progress.
The Dog in the Swamp
Last Thursday night, Beth was teaching a yoga class outside of our camper. I wasn’t onsite because I was teaching a songwriting class elsewhere, so Beth was using the camera on her laptop to connect with her students. She also uses a Rode Go microphone to capture her sound. This last detail is important because starting around 7:30pm, someone began honking their horn repeatedly while driving around the campground. This fellow, let’s call him Al, was a man we had met earlier in the day. Al is a big drinker as is evidenced by his red-nose, slurred speech and desire to talk to everyone he meets about his beloved dog who just got over a case of the worms.
Al was honking his horn because his dog had slipped his leash and disappeared into the swamp that surrounds part of the campgrounds. The night before, his dog had done the same and Al believed that the only way to get his dog back was to honk until he returned. home.
Beth, in the middle of her yoga class, couldn’t stop to help search for the dog. She was in the middle of a class and was having enough of a hard time concentrating on her students. As she tells it, though, it’s a miracle her students stayed in the class since the entire campground filled with the sound of a honking horn for nearly one hour!
Eventually, the honking stopped and everyone was able to put their children and themselves to bed. I returned home to find Beth wide-eyed and exasperated and I’m kind of glad I missed the drama. So, we went to bed.
The Nurse Next Door
Next to our camper was a young family, Ryan and Kara, plus their one-year-old daughter, McKenzie, and their small dog. Ryan is a traveling nurse and he moves around the country working at hospitals stressed by the nursing shortage.
The night before, Ryan heard the man searching for his dog – just like everyone else in Savanah. For a while, he walked with Al to try and locate the dog. But all they could hear were his whimpering calls from somewhere deep inside of the swamp.
So, here’s the cool thing. Ryan went back to his campsite and took out his hip-waders. Evidently, he’s a fisherman. In pitch-black darkness with a flashlight, Ryan set out into the muddy swamp walking step by step towards the dog’s urgent cries. Eventually, the dog heard his rescuer approaching and doggy-paddled his way into Ryan’s outstretched arms. The duo returned to the shore. I wasn’t there, but I assume that Al was very grateful.