It’s official! I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in the state of Massachusetts! This feels like a huge step forward in my journey, and one that I’ve been working towards for a long time.
Being a wildlife rehabilitator isn’t a job (although it may be for some people in certain cases) or a hobby. It’s a calling. You don’t do it for money, because there is none. Everything is out of pocket or funded by donations. You devote your time and energy and resources simply because you feel called to do it.
For me, it’s way more than a love of animals that has lead me to this work. The love of animals is certainly there, along with a deep compassion and empathy. But if I had to say, I would express it more as a vast respect for everything that is woven together through the divine thread of life. To honor that feels like my life’s work (be it paid or unpaid).
For many years, I have been tormented by the suffering and death endured by the ones who cannot speak for themselves. I can remember feeling paralyzed with helplessness, or feeling like I want to bury my head in the sand. Working in wildlife rehab became a way for me to confront that suffering. Not to run or hide, but to face it head on. And I’m amazed to see what has grown out of that place – a space in my heart that I might have known existed, but never had access to. By walking hand in hand with the suffering, I realized that I had a gift to offer – that I have a capacity to hold a loving, tender space for those that are vulnerable and in need.
I realize that nature is a remarkable, wonderful, cruel, and complex place. I can’t save everything, and that’s okay. But I can hold a space for death. I can recognize and respect it’s place in the circle of life. There are times it will be with me as I continue down this path.
And If I’m being totally honest, I suppose there is some part of me hoping that by doing this work, maybe I’ll be able to heal some vulnerable, wounded part of myself too.
I will starting out slow as a new wildlife rehabber. I still have a lot to learn and I’m nervous. But I’m excited too! I can’t wait to see how the journey continues to unfold. Thank you to everyone who is walking with me along the way.
If you’d like to donate to my wildlife rehabilitation fundraiser, please click here.