Be the Cause

Wow, what an evening!

Inspiration. That’s what keeps me coming back to Be the Cause. My first experience with BTC was at the 2003 Walk for Hope. I was the recipient of some much needed inspiration. On many occasions since then, I’ve tried to be a source of compassion and awareness so that someone else might feel as inspired as I did that day. I used to say without a doubt that WFH 2003 was my favorite Be the Cause event, but it now must take a 2nd place to the Evening of Awareness this past Saturday, July 1st.

As someone who has organized 5 EOA events since Nov 2004, I am fully aware of how much work goes into just the logistical part of the event. Then there is the important part of trying to share an experience like going to India or South Africa or a social issue like the crisis in Darfur or Human Trafficking, in a way that creates a lasting connection with the people who come to the event.

Having had nothing to do with the planning for the India Evening of Awareness, I didnt know what to expect. I knew it would be special, but I had no idea how special. From the chalk drawings on the ground, to the traditional greeting and the opening prayer, I could tell how much love and thoughtfulness went into every detail of this event. I almost hesitate to call it an “event”. “Experience” sounds more appropriate.

I loved the slide presentation and the unique perspectives that each traveler got to contribute. I never felt like it was too long or redundant. It was really beautiful.

I was literally moved to tears by Nirali’s words. I felt as though she could have been speaking directly to me. I will carry that “SOS” with me always. I even shed a tear or two when Viren was speaking about the kids at Manav Sadhna. I felt like I knew them.

At the end of the event, I felt inspired like I havent felt since WFH 2003. This crazy journey into service made sense again: small things, ordinary people, simple ideas.

I’ll close by saying that my heart is full of gratitude for the opportunity to be friends with such an incredible group of people. Thank you.

8 Weeks with Big Joe and Little Joe (the pigeons)

If I’m not mistaken, the last time I posted on this blog was the last time Ben and I lost a pet. Well, here we are again. The difference this time is that Kitty was ending her journey in life and Big Joe and Little Joe are just beginning theirs. They were delivered to my front door by a neighbor on March 7th, 2006. They were barely a week old and they hadn’t eaten all day. Their eyes just starting to open, bright pink skin and the faintest emergence of pin feathers. Kind of gross to look at. The neighbor saved the birds when their nest was destroyed by his work crew after they pulled out an air conditioning unit at a work site. He figured since Ben and I raise canaries (pet birds who Lose Weight Exercise just a few ounces) we would know what to do with pigeons (wild birds who can weigh a few lbs.) I was initially scared to accept them, but in an instant, all the other times I was scared to do the right thing flashed before my eyes and I remembered that every time I rose to the occasion, I ended up a better person. So still feeling some trepidation, I put the babies into a canary cage and our journey together began. First, I had to figure out what baby pigeons eat and how to make them eat it. Once I got that part worked out, they seemed to grow by the hour! Since they didn’t have enough feathers to keep them warm, I had to keep them bundled up with towels and wash cloths. We even cuddled them up with an extra towel at night so they wouldn’t cry for their mom (okay, that might have been more about my comfort than theirs…) Every morning they were a little bigger and had more feathers. They were starting to look like real birds! Pretty soon they had to be moved to a larger cage. With a feeding schedule of every 2-3 hours, the “Joes” kept us on a pretty short leash for the first few weeks. As their bodies grew it seemed like their personalities started to grow too! Pigeons really get a bad wrap. They are incredibly affectionate and curious. We started letting them out of the cage for some daily Lose Weight Exercise and before they could even fly, they were running behind us everywhere we went! It was so funny. They would jump into our laps and on own heads. After about a month they had to be moved to a bigger cage-this time a 6ft flight cage that my canaries use during the summer. Soon they could jump onto the kitchen counter and then up on the ceiling fan, and then finally, they could fly around the living room. The best was when they took naps on the couch. We absolutely fell in love with them. We imagined every possible way that we could keep them forever, but when we saw them perched on top of the refrigerator looking out the kitchen window, we knew that as happy as we were to have them, their real happiness didn’t include us. Fully feathered and able to eat on their own, we knew it was time for them to move to the next stage of their journey. After a few postponements, yesterday Big Joe and Little Joe went to the home of a volunteer who takes care of a variety of wild animals until they can be rehabilitated and then released back into the wild. As Ben and I took them out of their cage, we each gave them one final kiss and wished them safe travels as they entered an aviary with 3 other pigeons. In about 3 weeks, the birds will be released near the lagoon in Long Beach. Ben and I knew it was silly to feel so sentimental over a couple of pigeons, but we just couldn’t help it. The volunteer kept thanking us for caring for them, but we told her we thank the birds for making us so happy the past 8 weeks. She recommended that we become wildlife rescue volunteers so other baby pigeons could be as lucky as the “Joes”. We think that’s a great idea, but no one will ever replace the “Joes”. I recently heard someone say that when you feel like your heart is breaking, its not- it’s actually growing; so I guess Ben and I are having growing pains today, but we wouldn’t trade our time with Big Joe and Little Joe for anything in the world.

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