Wednesday afternoon - drive to Rzeszow, Poland
As I head east on the smooth modern highway, in my rental car, which is way fancier than my 1999 Fiat Panda, listening to Joni Mitchell, I almost forget about what I am doing here in the first place. That is until I start paying attention to the traffic going in the opposite direction—away from Ukraine. It’s mostly buses—bus after bus packed with refugees fleeing their homes. I glance around at the other cars and see they are from all over Europe, packed down with supplies. There is a war going on just hours away.
This is one of my central life struggles: How can such opposing realities exists all at once, and how can I navigate between the two knowing that there is so much suffering? I waiver between hyper awareness of the injustices and feeling overwhelming empathy, to just zoning out into my own little world, thinking about the fact that I haven’t had a haircut in forever, that maybe I need a new jacket, or that I’m not drinking enough water. At this particular moment, I feel guilty that I have the privilege to check out, that I have come to Poland, that I have the support to come here at all, by choice. I chose to come here, unlike all the people in those buses heading west. I remember a tool a friend shared with me once, to breath-in the suffering, and breath-out hope, light and love.
Lana is on her way over the border. We aren’t sure how long it will take her, so I am waiting at the cabin in Rzeszow. The plan is for her to stay the night here with all the animals. I have cooked a bowl of stew, picked up critter food, and extra litter boxes—hard to know what may be needed. Most importantly I want the whole caravan to feel safe and loved.
This particular animal charity is the one that brought Nathan and Mishka together in the first place, and now the one that has been crucial in their reunion. Please consider making a donation.