What a relief! That found that little boy lost in the woods in Japan. I first heard about it when he'd already been missing a day. Honestly, it's been a blight on my otherwise happy existence.
I know that countless other horrors are visited upon children all time. Right now as I write this, there are things happening that I don't want to know about. (Shout out here to all the social workers and other child victim advocates. I went to law school with a friend who quickly became a very angry young(ish at the time) man when he was put in charge of the unit prosecuting crimes against children in Portland. He may even still be there. It would be a very hard thing to stare at day after day. And more just keep on coming.)
I don't think his parents expected him to actually wander off. I felt horrible for them. It's not something I would have done, like, ever. But I don't think they intended any harm.
My son is about the same age as that boy, and the thought of him, wandering the woods, scooped up by dangerous people, or anything other than being safe and happy filled me with cold dread. 7 year-old boys are beyond sweet. So happy and full of life. Ugh. I tried not to look, but couldn't help checking once in a while for updates.
I was and am so relieved I started crying. One more happy ending for the story bank in my head.
Would that they could all be found. Life is what you make of it. And everyone is in charge of their own destiny. But children don't always know that. (Nor many adults.) Some don't make it to an age where they can even try. But for those who do, it's possible. That's exactly why I've started ramping up my efforts to provide a place for kids from troubled homes, or even just troubled areas, to spend time with horses and in nature. And not just kids. Adults get lost in the metaphorical woods too.
My horses and dogs, and the woods around my house, as I've written here before, were my greatest comfort during a turbulent childhood with well-meaning parents who hadn't yet recovered from their own troubled childhoods. (Doing better now!). They saved me during another very difficult time a few years ago, and I know they'll ways be a source of inspiration and comfort for me
It's why I want to work part-time. So I can go back to those plans with some financial support behind me. (My own children need clothes and food.) I don't think anyone can save anyone else, but we can provide support for others' journeys, and share our own map. To mark up as they see fit while they scout a new route. Young and old. Animals teach us all how to listen, learn, grow and shine, each according to our own desires. And they give us space to know what those are.
That's pretty far afield from where I started this thing. But my truth, nonetheless.