Recently I received a kind invitation to write a Guest Blog from Author Linda Lee Kane. As we celebrate our 5th Year Anniversary the following post is the upshot of that invitational. - A. Maki
The Rabbit Hole
Amid the passage of time, I feel all the more fortunate to have been born in 1966, and all the more appreciative of my family roots and paths traveled. Wild Love Preserve is a life story and a story of life, reflecting our humanity, our interconnectedness, the continuum and our responsibility to the whole. This project connects dots as it mirrors my being, my truth, and my art. As in life, people come and go, interpret and mis-interpret, and make presumptions based on their own stories versus hearing new truths. There is calm, and there are wildfires. One constant remains a beacon: staying the course no matter the surrounding waters. As with any truth in being, a project of this nature requires one to man the ship no matter the storm, what others think or say, do or don’t do. At the end of the day, the voice which resides within one's core is the absolute compass to follow.
As founder of nonprofit Wild Love Preserve, I am delighted to recognize our 5th Year Anniversary and express appreciation for those who have supported this project in a multitude of ways. Down the rabbit hole I went five years ago, unsuspecting of the depths that lie ahead as result of keeping my word with Idaho wilds that happened upon my path. At that time I welcomed a momentary distraction from multiple years in hospitals with my mom. I had imagined my assist to be a quick turn around, however, this trajectory organically evolved into what has become a monumental project. I have been pleasantly surprised to find support often comes from the opposite end of the spectrum, and equally surprised by the cutthroat behavior of the least suspecting.
As an only child, I grew up an observer and a sharer. Even as a shy small child, I always spoke up when it came to justness and was raised to help others without need to chat about it. Being accountable to the whole is simply an everyday way of being, and I count myself lucky that animals of all kinds have always known to cross my path when in need of a hand, as my day will turn on a dime to assist. That said, my preferred low-key ways were no match for the scale of Wild Love Preserve, requiring me to step out of my quiet comfort zone. My pockets alone are not deep enough to implement all facets of this lasting wild project, however of the countless challenges faced, receiving assistance in fundraising has proven the greatest hurdle. All things purposeful, project delays are easily remedied upon infusion of funding because we have remained in constant motion, logistics aligned within a solid foundation.
Project Wild Love Preserve (WLP) engages public and private lands to address all facets of regional wild horse conservation on home turf in Central Idaho, from our adopted 130 Challis/Idaho wilds to collaborative work on the range. From the onset we have been boots on the ground and face to face with all stakeholders, charting new territory on behalf of the whole. Extreme divides at one time thought insurmountable have been bridged, and a new and ever-evolving norm now exists which requires continued perseverance and due diligence.
The WLP mission remains steadfast in our work to protect and preserve native wild horses in their native environment and nurture the legacy of respective indigenous ecosystems as a whole, in a responsible and sustainable manner with regional engagement and benefit. All is interconnected - kindness, mutual respect, science, and education are paramount. As result of our adoption project in 2012-13 and collaborative work on the range we have not only saved wild lives, we have saved American taxpayers $3.5 million dollars since 2013.
Often the “fight” is considered the only true means of stating one’s case and demanding change. To that, finding common ground should not be mistaken as weakness nor defeat by any means, in fact, it requires great resolve to establish working relations among differing views and intense adversity. While naysayers have been ever-present since inception, from the onset Wild Love Preserve has chosen a path of bridging divides and bringing stakeholders together in a new light, offering a fresh way of daily being, much needed collective harmony and co-existence. It takes a village to implement lasting positive change and many of those original naysayers have since taken to following WLP’s lead. Together we can rise above drawn lines if we so choose.
In closing, wild horses are not voiceless. All animals have a voice. The problem lies in human beings opening their minds, hearts and ears to listen. Animals are our teachers, and man has much to learn. The misguided belief that man sits atop a pyramid of life, superior to all else, has brought us to the overall state we are in today. Many are disconnected, concerned only with their own immediate needs and desires. They fall short of understanding that two-leggeds are but a mere part of the whole, and that within that whole lies a very delicate balance which must be respected and nurtured, now and for the well-being of future generations.
In truth, the magic of life lies within a sacred circle and it is our responsibility to act accordingly on behalf of our collective greater good. To walk this planet earth must never be taken for granted.
- Andrea Maki, April 2015