I saw something on my way into Philadelphia one fall morning that was terrifying and intensely beautiful at the same time. There wasn’t much traffic so I was going pretty fast. Along the very side of the highway was a large deer sitting upright and looking back to the cars going by. I have never seen anything like that before. He looked so serene I thought it might be a statue. He was upright, with his legs tucked underneath him. The image was stunning and deeply frightening at the same time. He was poised, beautiful, very large, and intensely vulnerable. He must have been hit by a car and was either completely stunned or his legs were injured. I can’t think of any other explanation for that.
I gasped and found it hard to breathe and was frightened for that beautiful creature. He was so vulnerable. It’s hard for me to fathom how he got there and of course, what happened to him after I drove by. I could not, and can not get the image of him out of my mind. My mind has wanted, and continues to want to make up stories about him and what happened.
This is important in relation to Cindy Love.
Cindy was completely vulnerable. Anyone could hurt her or take advantage of her if they wanted to. She was defenseless and totally exposed. She was totally innocent, like the deer on the side of the road not knowing what potential harm could come to her but being there because she had no choice. I won’t think about or dwell on what may have happened to Cindy Love in her time with others. It is too painful. I hope others always treated her with kindness and dignity.
That kind of vulnerable frightens me deeply and yet I know I am like that deer on the side of the highway as well as Cindy Love was like that deer. We are and were both so vulnerable, in our own ways. Is it possible that in truth we all are that vulnerable and just don’t know it? Central to my being are some beliefs I have held for most of my life. We must care for those who can not care for themselves and support those that have no words for themselves and are vulnerable of being run over in this world.
You know what the real, honest the truth is? We need to treat our selves with so much dignity and respect and love that we never hurt another. We need to recognize the simple truth, you and me the same. When I hurt you, I hurt me. When I protect you, I protect me. When I love you, I can not help but love my self.
The thought of that deer on the side of the road was terrifying and exquisitely beautiful at the same time. It took my breath away. I hope someone came along and helped that beautiful being find safety in whatever way was best for him. What is the point if he only suffers?
Was it Cindy’s journey to teach others how to love? Was it that deer’s journey to teach us to be open to the terrifying and exquisite vulnerability that is inherent in all living creatures so that we can hold with love and kindness that which is in front of us? What else is there in this world but the duty and the privilege to care for and love one another? What hope do we have as a planet if we don’t?