I understand Noah. Striving to save all of our biotic friends, Noah crammed as many animals as could fit, or be squeezed, into an Ark he built himself. He made his life a space for animals. Noah recognized that he couldn’t save them all and indeed didn’t strive for deep ongoing relationships with his zebras, elephants, camels, and mice. But he housed them; he feed them; he made a place for them until conditions allowed them to be safe and move on. Noah provided sanctuary.
This got me to thinking. I have had a lot of animals cross my life’s path. Some for a short stay and some lingered. Some were fostered and some were healed. Some rested until released, some were given to friends for a better life. Some needed a soft landing to pass peacefully. A few stayed; very few.
I used to feel this was somehow a failing on my part. What was I doing wrong? Why did my dynamic frequently seem to be as a way station, or functioning as a conduit, on these creatures’ journeys? I rarely asked for them. Somehow they just came or were thrust into my world. And then finally, while reading a friend’s remarkable blog about her rescue dog adventures, it came to me…it’s just like Noah with his Ark. They didn’t stay on that Ark forever. The Ark provided a transitional haven to survive a life-threatening situation.
In truth, magic absolutely does happen when that special connection is made between a new pet and their human. An amazing forever relationship birthed that breathes with the years, adding richness and meaning to our existences. The desire to love and be loved, to get out of bed on a rainy day just because your dog needs you to do so. But there is beauty and magic also in being a way station for those creatures not ready or positioned yet for that forever home. This is me; this is my friend; this is Noah.
My personal Ark isn’t always pretty: messy kittens- young, weak, or orphaned; sassy bedraggled cats; motherless birds; dogs too disheveled or wild to call a family living room a home yet; unsocialized reptiles that bite…hard; unrideable horses thrown away at auction; chickens- too old, too weak, too injured….these have filled my ark over the years and been welcomed to my sanctuary.
The strong, cuddly and cute don’t need me. But belief, love, and training have the power to transcend a ragged creature into the possibility of a new life, a home with security and love. I don’t want to own them; I want to be Noah. To provide that safe haven, rest, good food; a peaceful space to make sense of the world and react to it in a different way. My Ark takes my creatures on a journey as surely as Noah took his. After sanctuary, a new road is possible, smooth and joyful, filled with the possibility to accept and give the love that all creatures yearn toward and deserve. Being a guardian of their way station keeps the door open for these possibilities. Joyful next steps in a journey to unite with another being who recognizes and vibrates with their particular renewed energy and love. So I am at peace with myself, and with Noah. My Ark welcomes the weary on board where they may rest and learn until they are ready to traverse the gangplank into their new world.
4 thoughts on “Sanctuary”
I LOVE this – beautiful metaphor. Exactly what fostering means. Made me smile and made me cry just a bit. you are such a talented writer – WRITE MORE! (and add a subscribe by email button so I don’t miss any!)
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Thank you so very much! Your kind words keep me motivated! (I finally figured out the subscribe by email button too:)
Great post, Noah Antunes!
Ty Jody! 😊