I’ve grown softer in my old age and cry over simple things. Conversely, I become stronger in old age, traveling to problems I used to leave for someone else. Let me tell you a story, a real and recent one. A month or so ago, we experienced a flash flood in our little town on Cape Cod. I didn’t think much of it, watching out the window, but when water began pouring in the basement, I joined the group of The Alarmed. The Convent was well cared for by several sisters, so I grabbed a raincoat, and sloshed my way to the church to help there. As one group fought bravely with push brooms, another gathered towels for plugging door leaks, and a third hooked up sump pumps. One sister was feeding a drainage hose out a window and yelled to me, “Don’t look! There are dead bunnies out there!” I confess I looked and got my heart broken. Five tiny guys had washed up and out of their burrow and lie in a twisted heap, pelted by wind and cold rain.
Let me say right now, I’m not brave. I’m terrified of lightning and the sound of thunder that follows it. I heard myself say, “We can’t just leave them there!” And then hopefully listened for volunteers. My sister-friend said she’d help me. Help me. Okay, better than nothing. I grabbed two pairs of plastic “dentist” gloves to protect against disease, two baggies and a new trash bag – my idea of recovery equipment. First at the scene, I discovered two of the bunnies were alive. It was now a rescue operation, and I shouted the good news. The other sister ran to get a box, while I made a make-shift tent with the baggies. I cried like a baby as I waited. I cried, prayed, and waited, flinching at every lightning bolt. I was Scarlett O’Hara scratching the barren earth for food, fist raised to the heavens, vowing to never give up. Eventually, my friend returned, the box complete with air holes and lined with a soft towel. I gently picked up the two living bunnies and put them inside. The others I just as carefully placed in the garbage bag, respecting them in death as best I could and took them inside the warm church building.
We called Charlie, a man known for his kindness toward all creatures, and he agreed to take our little survivors to the animal rescue center. As I waited for Charlie to arrive, I continued my prayer vigil, promising the two bunnies Jesus loved them and they were safe. Slowly, to my amazement (forget my prayer bravado), the two little fellows revived.
Sometime after Charlie left, we noticed movement in the trash bag. Two more bunnies, thought to be deceased, had responded to the warm environment. Charlie graciously returned and made a second trip to the animal shelter. All four babies were treated for hypothermia and adopted by someone willing to eye-dropper feed them. We’re told they’re doing well and on their way to full recovery. Stormy, Flash, Thunder, and Reign – we wish you long life and all the best and may your sibling, Sunbeam, rest in peaceful slumber.