The Perils of Pavement: A Lament for the Souls Lost to Summer

20 Jul

It happens all the time, but more so in summer. Animals that we share our environments with, or rather, who allow us their space forlornly, lose their lives on our roads.

Honestly, it’s got to be one of the worst parts of taking a walk outside, or jogging in the suburbs. I try not to look when I’m on foot. I cross the street and fix my eyes straight ahead, to avoid the carnage, to shield my heart from breaking. And yes, we’ve all probably been there, behind the wheel, maybe too late in the night… at fault, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. We say accidents happen, but we are cautious near playgrounds. We slow down near schools. We would brake for a child. Why not practice these precautions for helpless animals?

I was coming home from the grocery store recently when I saw a fawn in the road. My first thought was, Poor baby. And then I thought of his or her mom, and I began to cry. I cried all the way home, mostly because I am empathetic to the fact that, while animals can feel sadness, they can’t make sense of it. That understanding alone can hollow you out if you have enough heart.

There’s something that separates the kind from the careless, and it is reflected in Jack Forbes’ poem, “Something Nice,” (below). I think of it from time to time when I realize this is a trait that’s hard to come by.


We must exercise caution when driving and watch for God’s creatures as we would our own children.

“He prayeth best who loveth best / All things both great and small.”
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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One Response to “The Perils of Pavement: A Lament for the Souls Lost to Summer”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Prayer for the Animals « chAMpagne bdaYs: toast life - October 28, 2012

    […] See also: The Perils of Pavement: A Lament for the Souls Lost to Summer […]

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