This was an incredibly beautiful place. My daughter and I spent a few days a week here. A man created this sanctuary. He planted beautiful flowers and trees, created waterfalls, walkways, and picnic areas. We went to ride horses through his 100 acres and often brought our two dogs to play in this crystal clear water. It looks beautiful. You would think the man who created it was beautiful. Wouldn’t you? But creating beauty and being beautiful are two very different things.
This man had more regard for a rare plant than he did for his animals. The horror of what he considered insignificant and meaningless to his animals still haunt me. We spent 8 or so year out there. There were farms next door that we spent equal time at. We loved the turkey, the bunnies, the horses, and every other farm animal that was there. It was an environment I felt proud to have my daughter raised in. Until the ugliness showed. The ugliness of the people turned this place of beauty into a complete place of darkness.
He claimed his acts were just ignorant, senseless, careless. I disagreed. He fumigated his home with his animals inside it. I went into that home (maybe that’s where I got the exposure that caused chemical sensitivities) and grabbed each animal. I held my breath as long as I could as I ran in and grabbed the mother cat and each of her kittens. The last kitten was the hardest to find and I inhaled the most fumes. You know, I never even thought of the damage I could do to myself, even after as I, without gloves, bathed and gave cpr to those kittens. I took them to my “friend’s” house where I filled her tub and tried to save them. The mother made it. She was this beautiful fluffy himalyan. As I put her in the water I could see that he had been starving her. She was all fluff but nothing else. Her kittens, I really prayed would survive. Over the next week I tended to them daily, hand feeding them, trying to get them to nurse again. I held each of them as they died on my chest. I buried them together.
After that I told my “friend” I would never ever step foot there again. I did. She begged me to go out and convince him to take his dog to the vet. She said he would listen to me. He allowed his dogs to ride on the top of his truck, drove them down the highway, where they fell off and one broke a hip and the other his head. I drove out and begged him to take the dog in to get surgery. I begged him to let me take the one in with the damaged head myself. He let me. My friend and I loaded him in the car. The vet said the damage was too severe. He was now having seizures and blind. When we returned the dog, something that also haunts me as I wish I had somehow convinced him to let me take him, he promised to keep the dog in the fence. He didn’t. The dog fell into the quarry and died shortly after. His other dog, he agreed to get the hip surgery which was $5000. A drop in the bucket for a man who flew in wood from another country to make a dresser.
My “friend” pled his case. Look at the beauty he creates she would tell me. It was an accident she would tell me. No. It was abuse. It was torture. It was neglect. If you know me at all, you know that these incidents damaged my heart to this day. If a tree frog gets into my house and somehow dies, I cry. If a moth is caught in a web, I cry. My final thoughts on these animals were that I could give them love in their dying days. I never went back after that, ofcourse. I was still friends with his friend. She and I had been friends for 8 years. I tried to overlook her indifference and excuses to this horrific heartless man. She was all about animal rights. Her life was animal rights. We rehabbed more animals than I can count. My daughter helped stuff worms down little bird’s mouths. We hand syringe fed baby animals, glued back together broken tortoise shells, and much more. My friend did beautiful things. But she was not so beautiful either. When her husband attacked me later that year, and admitted it to her, she blamed me. She made excuses for him. She made excuses for men who did criminal acts. There is no beauty in that. Our friendship ended long after it should have. That time in my life was seemingly surrounded by such beauty. But in truth it was beauty surface level with a deep deep seeded ugliness.
I find beauty the heart, way below the surface of what can be seen. I find beauty in how a person loves. I find beauty in how a person shows compassion and empathy and understanding. I find beauty in a person’s choice to take the hard road that is the character building road. That man created a beautiful space but his heart was black. I would much rather experience a beautiful space where I can breathe deeply and feel the love all around me. Like here :
These pictures below I FELT the beauty. The beauty in the strength of the bird, the embrace of my husband, the color of the flower I planted when I had the strength to plant, The beauty of watching a bird fly in the sky, the beauty of carrying a child inside of me and nursing her. I felt the beauty of the earth and sky as I stood on the beach. These pictures symbolize what I find beautiful. God’s beautiful creations, and the love that surrounds them.