There are little miracles all day every day that we miss when we are preoccupied with the minutia of our lives and other matters of ego. On very special occasions we are lucky to experience moments where struggle and strife seems like a drop in the bucket, and the interconnectedness of life is both beautiful and overwhelming.
Today is one of those days.
USA Today, after a month of preparation(including sending photographer Justin Kase Conder who took over 1200 photos over a period of seven hours) released a story about A Chance for Bliss on the front page of the life section today. The electronic version of the story can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/a3nc5d
It is not even noon, and the response has been overwhelming. Even in writing these few paragraphs I have been (happily!) interrupted by a dozen emails forwarded by Dee. They are from people who want to become sponsors, make a one time donation, or just express their gratitute for the amazing and selfless work that Dee and Woody do. I am becoming emotionally overwhelmed at the love and kindness that is pouring forth from all over the country in response to the article. I can only imagine the mental state Dee and Woody and the rest of the team are in right now.
Congratulations Dee and Woody. I can think of no one who deserves this recognition and support more than you do. In any small way I have been able to help serve your cause, I can guarantee you that the personal benefit to me has come back a thousand fold. Although you both tend to be humble to a fault, I hope you take a moment to breathe it in and take a bow for the extraordinary effect your vision and sweat equity has had on hundreds of lives, two and four legged. I met the Bartleys before the economic recession began, when they were comfortably self funding all of their rescue work, in addition to donating 25% of their before tax income to other charities (a fact that you will almost never hear them mention). I thought I knew they were extraordinary people then. After having witnessed their struggle through intesely stressful and meager times, when situations turned from bad to worse regularly, and there was not much hope to be found, I realized that I had only seen a fraction of what the Bartleys were capable of. When mere mortals would have rolled over and died, the Bartleys renewed and intensified their dedication to serve as many animals and people at the highest level possible. They have gladly sacrificed every wordly possession they have, not to mention untold hours and emotional reserves, in pursuit of their vision. Even in the darkest times their mantra has been one of abundance and faith that it really does seem darkest before the dawn. Being a passenger along for this ride has taught me so much about the power of intention, dedication, attitude and perserverance. I remain honored and humbled to be a part of Team Bliss, and can't wait to see what the future holds for our sanctuary family.
And to those of you in the community who have sent expressions of your love and support for the Bartleys and their amazing sanctuary, please know that your kind words and donations mean more to us than I can even begin to convey. I cannot express the pleasure I feel in being one among the many of you who are coming forward today in response to the USA Today article to express your belief in the sanctuary's mission: To promote the inherent Truth of the worth of all beings.
Overwhelmed by gratitude,