“I always felt a deep affinity for nature and animals but it was seven wolf puppies that drove me, through love, into action.” Susan Eirich, Ph.D.
It was all the fault of 7 wolf puppies. I was invited to help care for them. Bottle feeding them; nursing them when they fell desperately ill, I fell in love. That changed everything. It was the kind of passionate committed love that a parent feels for a newborn child.
I was helpless before it. I had to do right by them. Then, because they opened me to the wonder of wolves, I had to do right by their kind. As I was invited to care for bears, cougars, lynx, bison, deer and more, I found myself falling in love each time anew! My feelings responded of their own volition. Bemused, I would watch them rising from within, surprised at their intensity. From where did they come? I was falling in love with so many different creatures, so different from my own species. What was the common ground that my body recognized?
As my awareness expanded I realized I had to do right by all Life. Falling in love deeply opens channels through which all kinds of information can flow and I saw each living being; plant, tree, animal, as a source of wonder if only I was able to connect with each on its own terms.
Once I was touched by it, saw it, felt it, then I had to fight for the beloved, protect it, take action. If I didn’t it felt like I would have betrayed my very soul. In 2000 I founded Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary, a multi-species endeavor. It has been a profound difficult joyous journey since then, that continues; each day, week, year is a delight, a trouble and an amazement. An ever-increasing awakening. A microcosm, I believe, of our human journey.
But really the story of Earthfire is simply a story of love.