At the end of the sanctuary day, I make a cup of tea and take a meandering path – me and my tea, up to my little space in the sanctuary. It’s a ritual that’s important to me as much as my need to stay up Christmas Eve when everyone is gone to sleep and reminisce: of a time myself and my mom would sneak a peek at all the presents under the tree. No one knew the wiser. But now it’s just me and my tea and whatever animal escorts me home, sometimes a few, sometimes none.
But tonight was different. I’m not sure why… my heart is both heavy and hopeful. I am so terrified I’m going to lose George – the terror has taken hold of my heart and just sits on it waiting to press down. And then I get messages from great friends, new amazing friends I only know because of this: Hilltop Animal Sanctuary. I feel hopeful: they believe George will be OK and they topple the terror once more.
I sit down and all around me is a scattering of softness: Oran has destuffed a bed my sister gave me for Sasha, an elderly pound dog coming to the end of her lifetime. My entire life is visible in this tiny space I live in: magazine covers framed, my beautiful nephews framed, horses I rescued framed, clothes from other lifetimes to clothes for this lifetime. It’s like ‘this is your life’ without the guests….
I sit down with my tea, scroll twitter, and one is taken on a scrolling tour of diverse human behaviours: the good versus the bad: the need to save and the need to harm/kill (depending on what causes or topics you follow!) From one post to the other, the saviours to the executioners. And you wonder, at what stage in our lifetime, do we choose to be either and what is the emotional attachment that keeps us there? Sometimes I get so emotionally trapped in a post, that I’m there ‘in it’ feeling the joy or feeling the overwhelming suffering. I’m confused by the ‘normalisation’ of the suffering even the legal status of it, and I’m in awe of those who constantly speak out or try ‘take the sword’ from the ‘slayer’.
By the time I get to my tea, it’s usually not very hot, but it’s still my tea, and my night needs it. Tonight there is hay and hay seeds in it and I have no idea how that happened. Like hundreds and thousands but misplaced in a cup of tea. There is no energy left to make a new cup, so one by one I try fish the hay out of my blue mug. And it takes a while…. But I get there…. I get there.