It was dusk as I approached the drive. . .and besides the number on the mailbox – there was nothing that would indicate for certain that I was in the right place. Really??? An animal rescue org??? Here???
I must have the address wrong. And of course – there’s no cell reception.
Only one way to find out if this was it. So, I left Napoleon to guard our rig and I started hiking up the gravel through the trees.
As I approached the house, it was a little more obvious (well, mostly); I had, in fact, arrived at Wild Things Sanctuary. The bat sticker on the car should be a pretty good indicator, right?
I rapped on the door awhile, fighting back my mind’s visions of being greeted with a shotgun (hey – the place is kinda back there in the woods!); and - I was finally met by Victoria (‘V’, as I’ll call her from here on) . . .
. . . She’s lovely, enthusiastic, and hustling through the beginning of a long night.
See, in V’s world – all the nights are long. She’s a one-woman show on a nocturnal stage. Oh – and she’s employed all day before going home to start the real work. I don’t think sleep is a word she knows.
Yes, she does this in her own time, at her own place - because she loves it. . .she loves the individuals under her care (Did I mention – they all have names?) . . . and if she didn’t do it – who else would?
Still - in a hectic schedule - she graciously took a few minutes to sit down with me and talk about how she’d arrived - in this line of rescue work, with as many creatures, and as an up-and-coming authority for bat-friends everywhere.
Soon, the sun began to duck behind the horizon; and I found myself following V around the property - at a brisk pace, no doubt. The next stop – a walk-in enclosure.
I should mention at this point that as we approached - and I witnessed a bit of creepy fluttering – I experienced a terror that I’ve rarely known. Regardless. . .ever the proponent of stepping outside comfort zones – I stepped inside the cage. V says I hid it well, but as more of the ‘kids’ woke-up to fly – she must have heard the knocking at my knees. Thanks, V – for not laughing at me.
By the end of the evening, I was helping her hand-feed some of these flying furries, and I even came-around. . .fully:
Are you sitting, Folks? Bats are entirely adorable, if not magical. There. I’ve said it.
But what’s more important than the transformation I experienced myself. . .is the lesson I learned – to share with you all. V – is an inspiring woman. She saw a need and she followed her passion. She didn’t wait for someone else to start. She didn’t let the unknown hold her back. She chose action. And she single-handedly started an organization which, now in its tenth year, has saved and rehabilitated countless animals.
V - she's absolutely tireless.
And it goes to show what any of us can accomplish if we follow the direction of our hearts.
Don’t wait, People. Move when you’re inspired. Answer what calls you.
Just remember my story of BatGirl. . . She’s real. And she is a superhero - in her own right.