The Medicine of Love

By Gretchen Lieff   |   January 14, 2021

Darkness Deepens, and Then Light

It was the first Sunday evening of a gloomy 2021. We tried our best at making it seem like a “Happy” New Year, full of new hope and promise. But it was not. 

We had just returned from a dog walk through our Montecito neighborhood and it was usually lovely as we considered dinner options before 60 Minutes.

But the two furtive neighbors who skittered to the far end of the road pulling their dogs along and seemed pale and fearful as they stepped away, had left us in a powerful funk. 

Perhaps it was a mistake to watch the Sunday news and then consume The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Even the optimists must agree California, the nation, and the world are in catastrophic shape. Southern California, with its ruthless COVID numbers, is the lead story.

To prevent myself from going completely crazy, I turned to my computer, to Nextdoor and found the following message: 

“’Can I help?’ I just wondered whether anyone needs anything. I didn’t have much. ‘I am here if you need me.’ I’ve seen so many beautiful posts asking for people to visit or check on someone. Our neighbors reach out to help each other.

I want to share something that made my heart sing and my eyes water. In fact I actually drove around the block three times and stopped to watch. I saw love. I’ll share this vision as best as I can.

What I noticed first was an older golden retriever (I’m a dog lover). I instantly recognized it as a seeing eye dog. Next I notice the man. He was old, maybe late 80s, eyes practically closed and his mask past his nose. In his shadow I noticed there was someone else. She was slightly trailing behind him, holding his hand, just as old. In this woman’s other hand is her blind cane (white cane). These three had figured out how to navigate the world together. There was an eloquence in the way they worked as one.  

I work in adaptive recreation. I absolutely believe when there is a will there is a way. I needed that trio in that moment to remind me of that. Times are tough for many of us. Don’t give up hope. I’m here. So are all of you. I love you guys.
‘Walk in beauty.’”
Jenn Long

I wept. This was exactly the medicine I needed. And then Montecito’s social media opened a floodgate of loving response.

“Jenn your post has given me such hope, grace, and beauty at a moment when I needed it.”
Michael Z.

“So uplifting. Thanks Jenn.”
Greg and Lisa

“Your post was heartwarming… there is hope at the end of this dark tunnel.”
Gloria V.

“Even though I have not met you, I love you.”
Sharon C.

“You made my heart happy.”

“Such a lovely observation, thank you for sharing.”
Ann R.

“Thank you for posting this message of hope and love. I’m sure it will help many people.”

“God Bless you for this.”
Gwen M.

The greatest power is the power of hope and love. It is right here with us.


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