I stood watching, from the security of my front porch, the red and blue lights illuminating the night. What could I do? What was really happening? Do I risk my personal safety for strangers? I felt helpless, except for my silent pleads for safety for all invovled. Another onlooker stepped in, ushering the tiny, shocked crowd to the warmth of his nearby home. A small round face with bed tousled hair, clinging to the neck of the loved one carrying her, moved into the flood lights of the emergency vehicles. Sleep had not yet left her cherubic features. Her pink and purple PJ’s ensconced her on this dreary, wet, night. Her eyes rested on me, full of questions, desiring answers. Not quite sure she was safe yet.

Neighbors a few doors down and across our brick paved street had a small fire last night. Shortly after I arrived home emergency sirens filled the air with the announcement that someone’s life is in serve, unexpected transition. As our sleepy street was transformed into a hub of assistance for the family, neighbors came out to look on. 

I felt helpless. I felt saddened that I did not know this family that lived and played just a few short steps from my home. Action finally overcame my fear of the unknown. I went to this stranger and in the midst of panic offered my feeble introduction. I did not have any idea where my words would lead me.  I did not know what I could possibly offer, but I could not just stand by and watch without doing something. My feeling of helplessness overwhelmed my fears and I moved forward. Contact information, an offer of warm drinks, blankets, and ill-fitting shoes was all I could think of to give. 

The helpless feeling abated. My smile and heartfelt concern for individuals I had never met was contagious. A weak smile crossed his face. Friends came by hearled by the wave of technology pushed information. Thanks were out poured, hugs were given, just a simple reasurrance that no one should walk alone when lives are shifting.

Reach out to the community you travel in. Our transitions can pull us together. Overcome anything that tries to hold you back from doing what is right. Immerse yourself in life. Smile when you want to frown. Life is beautiful, even in all of it’s flaws!

Travel Well My Friends


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