Is there a meaning for everything that happens? People far more spiritual and intelligent than I have debated this question for centuries. From my observation, it seems that facts are somewhat irrelevant. It simply boils down to what one chooses to believe.
I believe that every life, every experience, and every moment matters. From the transcendent to the tragic, there is a reason and meaning for everything in existence. That being said, it doesn't necessarily mean I understand what that meaning is. Sometimes it might be obvious. Other times I'm oblivious. Sometimes it makes sense years later. And many times I have to accept that I may never know because perhaps it wasn't meant for me.
A few days ago I had a busy day planned. It involved a meeting to do research for a series of paintings, as well as helping some friends set up an arena for a tournament. I wasn't feeling well as I drove to the meeting, but I was determined to keep my commitment. Fifteen minutes into the meeting I felt even worse and had to return home. A little more than halfway home I saw a fawn curled up in the ditch alongside the highway. I pulled over and walked back to find out why.
As I approached, the fawn lifted its head to look at me. I paused. Not a fawn, but a beautiful young doe. I took one more step and the doe raised herself onto three legs, dragging one rear leg behind her as she tried to escape from me. I Immediately returned to my car to call my friend Lucy, a sheep farmer, for advice. She suggested I contact the local wildlife refuge. They told me to contact a local wildlife rehabilitator. Per the instructions on their website, I left a message and then waited. I wanted to protect and save her, but I couldn't approach without causing her stress. And even if I could get to her, I wouldn't know how to heal her. And I still felt sick.
As the deer curled up again in the ditch, I curled up in my car and waited for someone to help. After 45 minutes, I realized that me being there wasn't making any difference, so I drove home. At an hour and 15 minutes, I called my animal hospital for advice. They recommended animal control. Animal control recommended the sheriff's department. My heart broke. No one was going to help her. I didn't know what else I could do. This call would be to end her pain.
It may have seemed pointless, but that deer's life briefly touched my own, and I choose to believe there was meaning to it. Maybe it will cause me to create something or make different choices in the future. Perhaps there will be ripples into the lives of the other people involved that day. Maybe by reading this, you will be affected in some way. Regardless of what may happen in the future, I believe I was blessed simply for having seen her, a beautiful creation of God, and given the opportunity to care. The meaning for everything, always, is love.
This weekend I'm headed to an abstract painting workshop in North Carolina. Don't worry, I'll still be painting animals! It's just good to add new skills and techniques to the "toolbox". I'll also be visiting a friend who relocated there from Massachusetts just a few months before I moved. Watch my Facebook & Instagram pages for pics!