How to live in uncertainty when the earth shifts under your feet. Metaphorically, or literally, we live in a time of personal, political and tectonic shifts. We think we know the road our lives are heading down, but life has it's own agenda. Detours alter the landscape-sometimes dramatically. Our journey's often lack clarity and our instinct is to hang on tighter, when life is asking us to just loosen our grip on our old hand bags of fear, trading it in for an 18 wheeler full of trust ( or an older RV sans Mobile Clinic) The new road can unfold in surprising ways. Such is Juarez, such is Mexico, as well as the other hot spots on our globe.
The headlines scream despair, but the roads that web through the deeper layers are where the hints lie of what is possible, it's where the possibilities incubate and seemingly burst forward out of nowhere. Juarez is a name that has an aura of chaos associated with it. But what if groups of people change the narrative, move into the places where there's a cry for something new, something fresh, something defined by the hearts of those who see the faces of those living in the places on the earth that the headlines have written off.
Vietnam took 54,000 American lives and 2 million Vietnamese lives. It's now a foodie mecca where selfie sticks are sold to tourists world wide wanting an instagram post of their noodles. Time changes things, it heals, it moves forward, it's shown that history's grip is not ironclad, that people and places are fluid and hope is not a fool's dream. It's a recipe of time, care and belief that when people join together and act in compassion and kindness, the earth knows your footprint, nature feels the pull towards something new. Compassion fills in the crevices that governments and newscasters can't see, but it's there, it's alive and it's gently pushing forward. Juarez has lived some very dark times, the City's people and animals have all felt the seismic tremors that shook the area to it's core. What's next? If history is any indicator the script is changeable, there's veins of change that seep into the hearts of people that steer the currents. Juarez, Mexico is our neighbor, it's a place of amazing, beautiful culture, music,food and an aliveness that violence can't entirely squelch. it's a country that is sensual in a way North Americans can't always grasp. It bathes the senses in what nourishes the soul. We can drown in the negativity, or we can walk away from it, roll up our sleeves and return to what matters, family, kindness, compassion, vision for something better. Stepping out of the feedback loops of doom and gloom takes a lot of effort and it's effort that eventually brings you to another shore. You don't have to align with what has no hope, we are free to choose something that makes us feel alive. Alive is not necessarily without anxiety, if you are far enough out there, anxiety is likely to be a familiar companion, but either way, we don't walk through this journey without scars, fear and worry. It's accepting it all and still looking for what calls you and then going there.
Planned Pethood De Juarez is a group of such people. They were walking this journey long before I knew them. Together we are stronger, able to do more, effect more change and through this journey together, we can let the narrative of what will be loosen it's grip a bit more. Friendships forged, seeds of hope planted and a pathway is created that wasn't there before. It now leads to Utah and Albuquerque. It reminds me daily to let go of the worn out scripts. To let my heart lead, to trust what is good in so many of us and to feed that. The web of connection keeps expanding, the photographers, film makers, journalists are finding us and bringing to our journey a vibrancy that keeps pointing us forward. Our donors continue to humble us, our rescue partners reached out to us and formed a layer of care for our labors that has breathed into our organization of feeling of connection that goes beyond the pups in need. They are ley lines that become stronger with wear.
One female dog and her babies can theoretically create 67,000 puppies in six years. If my math is correct, PPJ has neutered just over 1400 dogs, half female and half male. Thus potentially preventing 46,900,000 unwanted puppies and kittens from being born into misery. That is the current that directs the future, that effects a place in ways that will not be reflected in our headlines. But living among streets teaming with starving and injured dogs creates it's own energy and eliminating the pervasive suffering in around our lives matters. It is a drumbeat of change that can go undetected until one day you notice you haven't seen as many suffering dogs darting through traffic.The environment of your neighborhood reflects back a bit less misery encapsulated in a desperate animal. That's our goal, our mission. The world changes subtly while we are looking the other way.
Just being alive is a rodeo, choose the ride that at least makes your heart happy. In the end, how we loved is what we take with us. Love big, hope wildly and ask your heart what makes it sing. If that's adopting a dog, we could not be happier!! PPJ chooses the narrative of what can be, of what is possible. Either way we have to walk through this life, walking with hope just feels better.