Last Sunday was a perfect summer day. Sunny, no humidity, still cool. On our walk, the dog and I passed moms coming out for the Sunday paper, families piling into minivans on their way to church, early bikers hoping to finish their ride before the heat set in, other rambunctious pets eager to say hello.
We passed the Anglican Church, white with pale blue trim, where the singing had just ceased. We turned the corner at the Quaker Meeting House, also silent, but full if the number of parked cars were any indication. The dog sniffed at the grass, tugged at her leash to keep moving.
When we reached the Russian Orthodox Church a few blocks past the Quakers and Anglicans, I could hear the murmur of parishioners through open windows. My dog once again stalled to sniff the grass, and I watched the white of the cottonwood trees float to the ground around us.
Then a blatant act of rebellion from a dog always tempting fate, seeking adventure, poised for battle. She pooped at the bottom center of the church steps – a wet one that I could not fully lift from the grass with the purple plastic bag I carried for that purpose.
Did they hear me scold her mid-prayer? “For god sakes, Star!”
A few snickers, heads still bowed? A single set of eyes raised to the window?
A gentle smile from an elderly priest? Until their discovery at the bottom of the stairs…
…a Ukrainian nationalist at work on an otherwise peaceful Sunday.