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She didn’t have to say a word.

When she saw me walk into the library, the beautiful girl hadn’t seen me in over a year, and I can never know what she was thinking when she recognized me heading toward the back of the library, unaware of her presence. An understandable impulse would have been to have said nothing, since we broke up – – if such a term could be used for children so young – – earlier. But she decided to call my name out anyway, taking the chance that I might be bitter about what happened.

I wasn’t. I had always adored her far too much for such a feeling to exist.

And so here we are. Nearly forty years later. A house. Kids. Chickens. The whole bit. History was changed with one impulse, and almost certainly changed for the better. Somewhere in the ripples of human history, the pebble she threw in the water that day sent waves of change throughout many lives – – tens of thousands, at least – – in ways big and small, most of them unknowable. But that’s the power of one decision.

My impulse to get a dog from the pound for my brief stay here was just that: an impulse. I missed having an animal near me. So I looked up and down the cages, dogs big and small jumping and yelping at me, and I reached the very last cage and the most soulful eyes I’d ever seen. So that was that. I took him, and through a near-miraculous connection, I was able to find him a five acre angora goat farm where he can run, play, and be happy instead of going back to that cage.

So now he’s finally free, and we can all be grateful for that extra morsel of joy that’s out there right now.