Words Escape…

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Words escape. Words are wispy, vague, slippery.  A thousand– even a million– of them cannot paint a picture of a life and a love and a death and a joy, a being full of rich complexity and glorious simplicity.  The wonder and the grief and the gratitude and the billion hallowed moments that make up a life are so essentially related, so fully interconnected, it renders that life unutterable.  One wordless love.

Nearly fifteen years ago, I set out to change the world with two goats by my side.  One was all sweetness and harmony, the other was all impishness and shenanigans.  Both had eyes that glimmered with mischief and senses of humor that were subtle, complex, and silly.

These little goats were my family, my friends, my confidants, my loved ones, my little devils.  Truer than any human loved one has ever been– could ever be.  These goats were my home.

And now they are my past.  My memories.  My spirit friends.

My goats are gone.

Ruckus and Hootenanny were young when their first family decided, after only a few months, that having goats wasn’t such a good idea after all.  They had tried to keep these intelligent, rowdy, energetic, mischievous little rascals in a tiny pen.  As a result, they broke out constantly to wreak havoc on the garden.  Finally, the people found a way to lock them in the pen so they could not escape.  And the little goats just cried and cried, not understanding what they had done to cause them to be held prisoner in this way.

Finally in frustration, the people gave up the goats.  And I was lucky enough to get them.  I gave them a huge pasture, an airy barn, a jungle gym, and we played constantly.  What fun those little devils were!  It was impossible not to laugh in their presence, so full of comedy was their every move.

But the days wore on.  I became much less carefree and no longer played with them.  And they went from being two of my only farm animals to be two of nearly 200. They kept having fun.  I never tried to fence them in– they free ranged over the whole farm, and yet never left the property, taking great joy in their liberty.

***

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He loved autumn

Months have passed since I wrote these words, since I set Ruckus’ spirit free.  And still words escape me.

It is not that I mourn him; it is that I cannot describe, with mere words, who he was to me– who he was to the world, who he still is and ever will be.

His death was beautiful and peaceful.  He faced it fearlessly, with his two closest two-leggeds at his side.  He knew he was loved; he knew it was his time.  My dear, sweet Ruckus had no regrets and neither do I.  I did what I set out to do.  I gave him– and beloved Hootenanny, who crossed over a year before him— a good life and a good death.

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Ruckus spent his last day with his beloved family, two- and four-legged

This is my job and I do it quite well.  And yet…

My goats are gone.

Ruckus believed in me.  He had faith in me.  He stood by me lovingly, unwaveringly, through the dark times, times when I struggled to care for my growing flock of orphans, when it was just me and the animals, alone on the mountain.  And he remained steadfast even as he watched the light come back into our lives– as he watched the sanctuary– and me– bloom.

I remember one day, very early on, when I despaired of ever succeeding in this mad experiment of plucking as many lives as possible from hopeless pits and giving them the freedom to experience a joyful, natural life.  It was the deepest part of winter– when the sky darkens in these mountains as early at 3:00 pm.

One of my beloved goats, Hullabaloo, had been killed by predators.  Her blood stained the snow and ice.  I locked them in every night for safety, but she had found a way out in search of mischief.  If I had been more adept at fixing things, I could have created an escape-proof pen, and she would have lived.  Further, I had not even heard her being attacked.  I had vowed to protect her, and instead, she was eaten alive.

I fell to the icy ground, wind howling around me, and sobbed.  I was unfit for this task.  I couldn’t go on.  After I was all cried out, I made my way heavily into the barn to finish my chores.

And there was Ruckus, gazing at me steadily, faithfully.  He trusted me to care for him– to care for all of them.  He believed in me, and I could not let him down.  In order to live up to the trust of that little goat, I found the strength and help I needed, and banished the darkness.

Through the years, I often found Ruckus’ calm eyes on me.  His faith never wavered.  There is something that happens to you– or at least it did to me– when someone places their faith in you so wholeheartedly.  You find inner power you never knew you had.  You draw on all of your reserves and you find a way to live up to that trust.

I set out to save him, and he set me up to save hundreds more.  That one little goat has changed so many lives.  And I have realized, as I write this, that he knew I was ready.  He wouldn’t have left if he did not know, for certain, that I was strong enough to go on.  That I have the faith I need, and know who I am.

Beautiful spirit.  Beautiful goat.  Treasure of my heart, my gratitude will never cease.

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My Song

This song of mine will wind its music around you, my child, like

the fond arms of love.

    This song of mine will touch your forehead like a kiss of

blessing.

    When you are alone it will sit by your side and whisper in

your ear, when you are in the crowd it will fence you about with

aloofness.

    My song will be like a pair of wings to your dreams, it will

transport your heart to the verge of the unknown.

    It will be like the faithful star overhead when dark night is

over your road.

    My song will sit in the pupils of your eyes, and will carry

your sight into the heart of things.

    And when my voice is silent in death, my song will speak in

your living heart.

– Rabindranath Tagore

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8 thoughts on “Words Escape…

    Debra Picard said:
    July 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Indra….I’m so extremely sorry about your loving goats! I know exactly HOW you feel because animals are everything to me also. As you know when I visited last summer. I lost all four of my babies…I did rescue for pit bulls for many years…I lost all four that we kept to love forever in one year and there months…it was like the sky was falling in fact I was wishing it would fall right on me…because I couldn’t take the loss AFTER loss of my beloved dogs…my family….my babies 😦 you have beautiful pictures of those beautiful goats and they KNEW they were loved which is much more than MOST ANIMALS EVER GET!!! They were love till their last breath…I’m so impressed with the pure love that I felt when we arrived at Indraloka! I literally felt the love you all had for each and every animal. I felt good about you taking care of my baby…I knew I did the right thing and I couldn’t have found a more loving…..place for my girl. And I totally mean every word…this is the best most loving sanctuary …probably in the world…?nobody could love animals more and give them special healthy treats ….love Debra…..

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    Debbie Bednar said:
    July 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Oh Indra, so beautiful, I am filled with awe, tears, smiles…your words have touched me in so many ways….I am so thankful for that morning I got to sit for such a short while with Ruckus. I sensed peace, comfort, blessings, so many I have had since being apart of Indraloka. Thank you for sharing your story about your beginnings with Ruckus and Hootenanny. Bless You Always!

    Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2014 12:33:24 +0000 To: pitboss33@hotmail.com

    Like

    Hermance W. Lahiri said:
    July 8, 2014 at 1:20 am

    I wish we had an INDRALOKA in India. People here just do not understand that animals have the same emotions we do. The animals here are abused and neglected; the people are missing out by not understanding the love, loyalty and devotion the animals are capable of giving us.

    Beautifully written Indra! Love you.

    your proud Mom.

    Like

    bdejong51@comcast.net said:
    July 9, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Dear Indra,

    So sorry for the loss of your loving goats.  I hope it comforts you to know what a good life you gave to them.

    Love & miss you,

    Barbara

     

    Like

    […] were all tucked in safe and snug. And there was Gilligan, sleeping contentedly between two goats, Ruckus and Hootenanny, who were lying in a protective embrace around the tiny […]

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