Balancing Bird meets Bishop Dog; Gratitude Ensues.

Just this morning, while I was clomping in my dirty sneakers next to the recently closed baseball fields in Prospect Park, I partook in a small act of grace. Puddles had taken up residency along the coasts of the crooked sidewalks that plow through the park. Everyone was river dancing at 7 a.m., trying to keep their boots in decent shape.

A woman mimed desperately in front of me. I dropped my headphones between my puffer jacket and still sleep warm pajama shirt. She called me m’am, shrugged at a tiny red ball over the fence, and pointed to my height. A case of beloved red ball gone rouge, her yippy dog explained to me.

Too far to reach, we decided, after a sleepy effort. Then I felt mystic, considered the larger layers of meaning this might hold, and really went for it. The small part of my stomach teetered on the sharp edge of the wooden fence like a Balancing Bird. I finally scooped it up, triumphantly, reeling my body back to its locked and upright position.

The baseball cap the woman was wearing could hardly contain the sincerity of her gratitude. Even the dog shut up and bowed like a bishop at the communion table. “That’s your Mitzvah for the day,” she said as I walked on. Who knows what tomorrow’s will be.