Our task must be to free ourselves....by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it's beauty.It seems the older I get, the more I appreciate nature, and all of it's glory. Animals can be therapeutic. They can fill needs that we didn't even know we had. I recently read an endearing book called, A Street Cat Named Bob, by James Bowen. James was in the process of recovering from drug use when he met Bob. After adopting each other, James found something to care for, something to get healthy for, and so he wanted to make sure he stayed clean. Having Bob was to him like having a child. Theirs is what I'd call a divine relationship.
Last week while on my way to one of my favorite craft's stores, I pulled into a parking lot and noticed a scruffy looking man with the most breathtakingly beautiful parrot on his shoulders. Since I happened to have my camera, I asked if I could take pictures of his bird. He seemed over joyed, and began to talk about and share his pet, Giovani (female), with me. I commented on how he and his bird seemed so close, and he said, "You don't know the half of it." I introduced myself, and he told me his name is Ken. Ken said I could share the pictures of them on Facebook, and seemed delighted that I'd want to. He told me the police were after him for having his bird in the park without a leash, and that's why he was in the parking lot. Although that struck me a bit strange, my heart was touched by compassion for these two, and it confirmed for me once again the healing power of God's creatures.
One doesn't have to own an animal to love animals. There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities to spend time with them, and to care for them. Besides the numerous benefits, one of the greatest is how they can teach us to be unselfish as James Bowen learned. A great example is Bernie Berlin. Her posts are worth taking the time to read. http://www.aplacetobark.com
Let's all continue to widen our circles of compassion. And as we do that, our ability to see the beauty around us will increase.