Saturday, August 15, 2015

What Is Wrong with Some People???

When something disturbing happens, I like to sleep on it. It gives me a little distance from my immediate flood of emotions.  As most of you know, I have been spending time and effort helping the amazing people and horses at Blue Star Equiculture, a draft and working horse sanctuary that is an hour and a half from my home.  It’s a bit of a drive, but I make it up there as often as I can.  I am so moved and encouraged by the love, kindness and care that everyone at Blue Star shows to the horses and the humans.  It is a rare and cherished place. They are determined to continue to grow and bloom, and whatever I can do to help them, I will try. 

In the past couple of months, in the wake of a terrible tragedy where Paul Moshimer took his life, Pamela has been almost super-human in the strength and wisdom she has shown dealing with her grief and with running a very busy, ever changing non-profit organization, along with taking care of the horses that are fortunate enough to live at the sanctuary.  Many wonderful, unexpected gifts have occurred – the students in the draft horse classes from U. Mass agricultural school have stepped up and brilliantly joined in to plant, plow and maintain the routines in the barn and on the farm.  

Yet, recently, some people whom I have never met but have had associations with Blue Star, have been using social media to question the way that the non-profit is being run and personally attack Pamela.  These self-righteous, judgmental, ego-driven diatribes are of course not uncommon on Facebook and in the animal rescue community, but nonetheless, they are devastatingly cruel and unwarranted. Yesterday, I witnessed such an assault while I was trying to help Pamela with some fund-raising projects, and it staggered me.  Why? Why would anyone try to destroy all the good and the hope that is the inspiration happening here?

I watched the kids respond by standing strong with Pamela, moving forward with a big project that is happening today, defending once again with serious commitment what they believe in. These are young people who work so hard, care passionately about the horses, each other, their elders and Mother Earth. They don’t bury their heads in video games and on-line distractions. They are never mean or bullying or exclude anyone.  So when they face the groundless accusations of adults who claim they were once friends but are demonstrating this abhorrent, disrespectful behavior during a time of mourning and financial stress, they rise up and demand a better world than the one that we “grown ups” have created here.

I can’t afford to give as much as I’d like to, but I give.  I join the herd. I find a way to support what Pamela, Blue Star and these remarkable young people create and nurture each day.  They give so much of themselves, during a time when greed, corruption, and selfish personal gain are running rampant in our society.  This is a place to be celebrated, not torn apart. 

Please find it in your hearts to contribute to what Blue Star is doing in any way that you can.  Choose hope. Choose love.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

An Angel of Love and Light

Losing someone you love is always painful, but there is a different kind of ache in my heart that happens when a loved one dies unexpectedly and you know that you will never again hear their voice or feel their hug or share life’s joys and sorrows with them.  When I woke up this morning, I learned that Esther Garvi, a young woman who was like a daughter to me, died last night in a car accident in Niger, Africa.

Esther was one of the most compassionate, courageous, generous people that I’ve ever known.  She grew up in the town of Zinder, one of the poorest places on earth and she provided thousands of Africans with food, livelihood, and hope. She ran the Eden Foundation, a non-profit founded by her parents that gives seeds and teaches families how to grow trees and plants that nourish and support them in the Sahel desert.  Almost 10,000 families benefit from the seeds and the knowledge that Eden provides each growing season. The young girls and women have been encouraged by Esther to sell the fruit they produce at market and have found a respect and importance in their families and their villages that is critical for their survival.

She created a foundation in her mother’s memory that supports a blossoming group of girls and boys, many of them orphans, who are going to school and love learning and spending time with Esther and her menagerie of dogs, horses, goats and other animals.  She was never held back by lack of financial resources or the complicated African political climate or fear of terrorism.  She moved forward with each new project in a blaze of love and a belief that God and good people would help her make it happen. And it always did, beyond everyone’s expectations.

This is the second time in recent months that I have experienced the sudden loss of someone close to me that I admired and loved.  My wise friend, Grandmother Nancy, tells me that the Creator is calling back some of his best warriors right now to shine the light and help all of us from the other side.  I will hold that thought tightly today, sending love and whatever else I can give to help Esther’s sister, Miriam, and her family, the children and the animals that also loved this brave, beautiful woman so much.

If you want to learn more and contribute to Esther’s efforts, please go to the Bettan Garvi School Initiative  and the Eden Foundation