Are you familiar with the Theory of Chaos? It was my absolute favourite University course. Perhaps the theory is best illustrated by the Butterfly Effect metaphor on how small causes can have huge effects. A butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil could conceivably make slight atmospheric changes which create the start or the alter the trajectory of a hurricane in Texas.
Small causes have huge effects.
Our very lives are the ongoing affirmation of this theory at work …
One corrupted cell – one – and I had cancer. Out of the 37trillion+ cells in the human body, that one cell altered the trajectory of my life.
For me, that somehow makes the path less arbitrary. It had a start.
Everything has a start. Including your decision to make the world a better place.
One kind word said instead of judgment.
One kind deed instead of hostility.
One happy thought instead of despair.
People ask me how I can maintain a positive outlook while facing cancer … and my response? Being nasty and negative never got me anywhere. Of course, there are days when I dive deep into darkness. I can’t stay there. I’ve tried. Three-year-old Lisa tried to pout for days when she didn’t get a pony. But it didn’t get me anywhere.
And I do believe – if you’ve read my past posts – that all of us are intangibly connected. Whether it’s matter or energy or something else … it’s there.
I don’t care what belief system you follow – if any – just that you believe in good. Does it really matter where that comes from? Somehow good has to triumph evil.
This is why I try to see the best in everyone. I do my best – with a few exceptions – to see your best qualities, not your worst. This is why I will smile and say something positive to a harried grocery clerk. This is why I will slow down and let another driver merge, rather than speed up and keep them out of my space.
What happens to that angry mechanic when he goes home angry? How long does he perpetuate that anger? How far does he release it out into the world? Not to pick on grocery clerks and mechanics – this could be anyone – but just for a moment think of that intangible trail of hate and how far it could travel …
While I await my cancer diagnosis, I am still hoping to be part of a small convoy of rescuers who will head out of province to save some dogs. I’ve often heard people lament that they couldn’t do it because it’s just too overwhelming … too many animals to save. There are.
But for that one dog, we have altered his storm. We beat our wings, type a few pleas on our keyboard, make a few calls and someone responds. They beat their wings, ask a few questions and reach out farther into their network … and then next thing you know … this one dog who was going to be euthanized tomorrow is leaving for new foster home today.
I am a firm believer that those intangible threads still connect us. What resonates in your threads?
I don’t know if there is life after death. I don’t know if there is a heaven. I don’t know if there is a judgment day. But I live my life today assuming that some day I will be surrounded by a weave of those threads and I will be happy.
I started to write this for another rescuer, but never finished it. Here it is today ~ For Larysa:
The pearly white gates aren’t always surrounded by fluffy white clouds and sunshine. Some days, the heavens are thick with gray clouds and rain, as if the skies can weep. Today was one of those days.
A lone, sad old dog walked over the bridge and through the gates with his head down. He had just passed and left a loving family behind. Still feeling old and arthritic, he walked as if he was still in pain. As he arrived, he noticed a tremendous amount of animals coming towards the gates. They passed him in droves. Large packs, herds and long lines of mostly dogs. Some cats. Squirrels. Racoons. Skunks. Horses. Baby birds.
He was confused. And saddened even further. Who was here to greet him? Suddenly, he saw a dog who looked much like himself when he was younger. Vague memories of puppy play flashed through his mind. The warmth of his mother. Roly poly tummies and happy yips. Contented sleep.
His tail wagged tentatively as the other dog came nose to nose with him. And he knew … his litter brother was here to meet him.
They jumped and played like puppies. Play bows. Happy smiles and barks of recognition. It was good to be loved.
“Why are all the animals heading for the bridge and the gates?” he asked his brother.
“We are heading back to greet our family” responded his brother.
“Wow! How lucky you are to have such a large family!” the old dog replied.
“Not all dogs are as lucky as you, my brother. You had one family who loved you and cared for you forever. Many dogs never get homes. Some are stuck in horrible situations. But the lucky few are rescued.”
They turned around and followed the crowd back to the gates.
“But why are there so many? he asked, still confused by this gathering.
Just as he spoke, the clouds lifted. Beyond the gates and over the bridge they could see one woman walking.
The younger dog turned to his older brother and said, “Today we came to honour a friend. She’s a rescuer. Every animal you see here was touched in some way by her kindness. She fostered puppies and kittens. She found perfect families for rescue dogs. She helped baby skunks and squirrels and birds. She tapped on her keyboard and found places for dogs she never met. She gave freedom rides to dogs she never saw again. She made calls that made a difference. She gave her heart and home and time and love to all of us. She gave money and bought us food when we had none. We all owe her our lives. She made the world a better place. “
The dogs turned back to see the women enter the gates. The sun shone. All the animals rushed to greet her. She reached out and touched every nose and every head. And she smiled. She could see her own family far off in the distance. They waved and waited patiently.
For right now, each life she had touched while on earth was bound to her and had returned to pay their respects. And each rescue reaffirmed those threads of kindness to rescue her soul. She was safe. And she was loved by so many …
This one is for you Larysa … each cog counts! (Originally published March 2017)
Happy Birthday Amy! You are a gem. 07/18/2020