My daughter and I did wild life rehab for a number of years when she was around 8 years old. She has a special gift with animals. This horse pictured above had never had human contact but she INSISTED she go up to him and show him love. She took her time. Walked very slowly. Held out her hand. And the horse finally put his head to her. It was an amazing sight. I have hundreds of stories of her reaching these animals on such a deep and profound level.
She was always in for the long haul. One day she took a baby bunny out of a dog’s mouth. We took the bunny to the rehab place and were taught how to feed her and care for her. It was months of care. The day we released her back into the wild was nothing short of a joyous miracle. Watching that bunny hop off to freedom was a beautiful sight. Her little fingers were small enough to put worms down baby birds mouths. She was gentle enough to feed the tiniest flying squirrel with an even tinier syringe.
I look at pictures of her and me with all the animals and I can see pure happiness in both of our faces. Giving something life that almost lost it is … There are no words. There is just a feeling you get that wells up in your heart. Every little space in your heart full. My daughter fills my heart this way. My husband fills my heart this way. Loving something can fill every void that exists in your heart. Have you ever loved so much that there was no room for sadness? Loved so fully that there was no room for nightmares? Loved so intensely that nothing else in the world mattered at that very moment? It is completely possible and I feel it daily.
All the pain, all the loss, all the anger, all the abuse, may not be permanently be gone. But love has the ability to restore some of those little crevices that you thought nothing could ever reach.
That turkey in the picture, Tomas, was one of a kind. He ran to the car when I arrived. He layed in my lap just like a little puppy. He closed his little eyes when I stroked his head. Who would ever think that a turkey named Tomas could take away my pain! But he did. Maybe not forever, but everytime he layed his head in my lap I thought of nothing else but how my heart could be full due to a turkey!
Love is a powerful powerful emotion. Love in action has the ability to fill every hole that was left by a senseless act. Find something to love. Find a love so powerful that you can feel whole again. Loving animals, loving my family, loving…fills my heart.
In the moments my heart is full, there is not room for all the bad images I try so hard to get rid of.
We don’t do wild life rehab officially anymore but once that is part of you, you never really abandon it. My daughter has brought home dogs that were on the side of the road, we have saved squirrels fallen out of nests in hurricanes, and chased off snakes trying to get to baby birds for hours at a time. We choose to love. Every life matters to us even if it is a little tree frog that gets in the house and we chase around for a ridiculous amount of time to set free.
Try, for just a moment, loving something so wholeheartedly that nothing else can even fit in. Fill your heart so much that there is no room for memories. It may not be animals for you. It may be your child resting her head on your shoulder, or your best friend sitting next to you, or necklace your grandma gave you. Give love the power to restore your soul…For just this moment.