A Gathering of Love – January “Realms of the Soul:

To believe that the things we gather, honor, and surround ourselves with, is to believe we are not powerless to influence our fate and impact the lives of others.

The process of gathering and creating symbols can become a means of nourishing and healing our inner lives, finding resilience that we might not realize we have and honoring people and beings. The process of gathering objects and creating a space where they can be brought together can also become a process of acknowledging and affirming our intentions and values; a tangible means of giving voice to our hearts and our spirits.

I met a person who has rescued over one hundred dogs since she was sixteen years old -re-homing when appropriate; providing direct care many. Her name is Cristy. I was curious when Cristy said that she had kept present in her daily life, places for the ashes, photos, and toys, collars and leashes that had belonged to nearly forty –  often traumatized and unwanted – dogs who had spent their remaining years in her loving care and knowledgeable company.

I’ve always liked superheroes; Captain America, Wonder Woman – the entire genre, but ultimately we learn that the real superheroes in life are ordinary people whose big hearts don’t require them to wear a costume or take to the air.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke of them, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

I was honored that Cristy allowed me to photograph her gatherings, her altars, her tributes to the wonderful souls whose stewardship and care she so openly accepted.  She has three dogs in her care now – and of course the ever present spirits of those she has gently, and lovingly said goodbye too.

Join 2nd Tuesday in a brief glimpse into the very personal and sacred spaces of a home filled with love, wagging tales, memories, bonds, and the long but assured journeys of healing from wounds, cruelty, neglect, indifference, and abandonment.  If you have questions for Cristy or about rescue dogs, please contact me.  We would be honored to answer as quickly as we can.

If you have your own ways of honoring the pets for whom you have had stewardship, we would love to hear from you.

Gather, arrange, honor – learn from the process – heal from the journey.