Happy Halloween! I grew up on a Dutch Island and Halloween was not known/celebrated there (I was aware of it & would go get candy at my grandparents' house) so I sort of truly fell in love with the holiday as a teen/young adult. (There were also no seasons there since it was near the equator.)It wasn't about trick or treating, or even dressing up (although I love that part) but more about the mystical associations. I thought of it as a day when it was easier for fae & spirit to communicate with us. I loved the autumn colors. I've never thought of it as scary. I love the sweet, almost old fashioned decorations, and when Juneau and Jarvis were still alive we had dark pumpkin orange walls in a condo we lived in and two black cats! I felt like I lived in a lovely Halloween world. I love the idea of the "veil thinning" (even though it always feels thin to me) and I see it as a beautiful day to celebrate a "visit" with loved ones in spirit. I do a special meditation and chat with animal companions & human family who are in spirit. I've done this for many years, and it is something I look forward to. I have a special Halloween tarot deck I pull out and I ask for cards to reflect on the coming season/year. Kind of like a new year's practice in a way. In the evening I like to have a nice dinner with my family (living) and watch something Halloween-y but not horror, more cute than scary. I also enjoy when regular tv shows I like do special Halloween episodes that are funny, like the Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) one from years ago. Even if you can't feel the thin-ness of the veil today, please know that your beloved animal companions who have crossed the rainbow bridge are visiting you today (and other days) but today they might be able to get your attention and you will feel (with extra strength) the love they still share with you it might be a feeling or a glimpse out of the corner of your eye. It might be a sweet memory. They are surrounding you with love and only ever a thought away.
This image is of Lara (left) and Erika (right) and Tater (middle.) Lara was my photography student while I was teaching at Oglethorpe and she graduated last year. Since the first class she always wanted to photograph animals and one of her main goals was to take beautiful images of rescued animals to help them get adopted. She talked about their personalities during critiques and her love for animals and dedication to help them was always clear.
Lara co-founded a non-profit animal rescue www.orphanannierescue.org/ here in Atlanta and Erika works with her and provides one of their wonderful foster homes. She takes in the dogs that need extra care and attention, like Tater who is in the photograph. He was found in awful conditions, chained up outside and there were cruelty/neglect charges against the "owners." He is an incredibly sweet boy but he needs extra patience as he gets past certain triggers that scare him. I communicated with Tater recently and he expressed a desire to get past it and gratitude for the loving care he is receiving. He feels protective of Erika and looks forward to being able to act like a "puppy" which he didn't really get to do when he was one because he was protecting his sister who was also rescued and has since found a home. He has a lot of love to share and he had to hide that part of himself until he was rescued and found himself in a safe and loving environment.
I was able to also observe his interactions with his foster mom Erika last week and I could feel his love for her and desire to protect her and his gratitude for both Erika and Lara. Even though I had previously connected with Tater energetically I made sure to give him space in person and was thrilled when he came over to greet me after a while and I even got a little kiss/groom! He is so full of love and I felt so much gratitude for the work that Lara & Erika and the other volunteers do. They rescue animals that many would give up on. I wanted to share this story to highlight the great work they are doing in our community. I think it's important we support local animal rescue as well as national and international efforts. Please follow them and offer support if you can. www.orphanannierescue.org/
This is their write up which includes ways to help them:
"Orphan Annie Rescue is a local non-profit animal rescue comprised of a group of amazing volunteers who come together to help save lives however they can. We are committed to working with all of the animals that we take in and treating them the way they deserve to be treated - as part of the family. There are numerous opportunities to contribute to the life saving efforts of this animal rescue including, but not limited to, opening your home to foster homeless animals, coming out on Saturdays to help set up and break down for adoption events, donating money and/or supplies, and sharing our adoptable animals on social media. With the help of the community, we can continue to thrive in our ability to help animals in need."
I got to pose with Tater! (Photo by Lara W)
***edit*** On October 14th, 2017 Tater was adopted and now he has his very own forever home and a loving human mom who understands all that he has been through and loves him so much!! Thanks to Orphan Annie Rescue he went from being chained in awful conditions outdoors to become a cherished & beloved companion. So thrilled to report this wonderful news!!