In writing, economy is an attribute that is sought after. It is something that works well and is appreciated. It’s also very difficult to achieve.
Now, If I had a brain in my head, I’d just post this photo above as a way of explaining what the Oasis Sanctuary is all about and call it a day. Now that’s economy. (To see the letter close up, simply click on the photo and it will enlarge for you.)
I went to the “Discover the Oasis” event this last weekend to meet people, talk a bit about my “Chop Concept” and get to know the people at the Oasis. I was in the main building when I saw this framed note sitting on a bookshelf. I immediately turned into a pile of water. Sometimes things just get to me. It doesn’t happen often, but this short, to-the-point framed letter innocently propped up against the wall on top of a bookshelf brought me to my knees. As far as I’m concerned, I really don’t have to say another word as a way of explaining what the Oasis does and why they exist.
But I will. I have a lot to say, and even though my instinct says, “leave it alone” I will continue even though just looking at that photo of the framed letter chokes me up.
I still have to write about the event. This particular shin-dig thrown at the Sanctuary in Benson Arizona, (By the way, if you’re flying in, make sure you fly into Tucson, and not Phoenix. It’ll save you a lot of hassle.) was a fund-raiser for the Sanctuary to raise desperately needed funds for this very worthy organization. It’s run on a shoe-string and I don’t think I have ever seen a harder-working, dedicated and more focused group of people in my life.
This is not an easy place. Visiting the Oasis makes you think about the entire point of what we’re doing by keeping birds. Or rather, not keeping them. When you come here, you have to come to terms with your own mortality, the fallout from economic hardship, lack of information, lack of education and just plain ignorance. What the Oasis does is pick up the slack when humans fail their birds in one way or another and ultimately themselves. Despite the messiness, the heartbreak, the difficulty of the work, they trudge on, making the most out of very little. They believe that what they are doing is a very necessary part of the big picture.
Unfortunately they’re right.
I wish they were out of business. I wish they could shut their doors. I don’t want them to exist. I don’t want them to be necessary. But they are necessary. They are needed. And they’re busier than hell.
The event was an Open House with tours, and speakers Dr. Susan Friedman and Noelle Fontaine.
I was there to “Kiss hands and shake babies” and write about the event here.
And I’m glad to do it. I also got to meet my friend Nancy who happens to be the “Mom” of my Facebook friend Bart Henry the African Grey. I’ve known Susan for years so it was great to catch up with her as well.
The Oasis had a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, lunch, the speakers, door prizes, and tours. Parrots were joyously yelling, people were talking and meeting and the ducks were honking away. I met Sybil Erden, the Founder of Oasis and we spent some time yakking and exchanging ideas.
One idea I came away with is this very cool “flight tunnel” that is a flight bridge for the Quaker enclosure. It bridges two separate enclosures and gives them some flying room between two enclosures. Very cool and a fabulous idea!
Lanette Raymond, who is the President of the Long Island Parrot Society and definitely has her plate full, took the time to come out and volunteer as well as attend the event. She worked her tail off.
There is a new Board Member who just recently joined the team and was responsible for making sure my boney rear-end was here to meet all of these incredible people: Janet Holt Hilton. Janet is a powerhouse and has already contributed so much to the Foundation with her ideas, time and energy:
And she intends to do more. In a very real way, Janet’s enthusiasm and vision can and will clarify, expand and improve the outlook of the Oasis. It can’t help but do so. Janet has so many thoughts on how to help the Oasis. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out. I wanted to do more, but they had this event planned within an inch of its life and there wasn’t much for me to do. So I grabbed a brush and groomed a dog. Her name is Jewel:
Naturally, I ended up hairier than the dog I had just groomed. Why is is that every time I do a writing project, I end up completely filthy?
I was happy to be there, happy to be a part of the event, and perhaps to have contributed to a person’s knowledge about a great way to feed their birds. I loved meeting the people and seeing the work that they do. Sometimes the work is pretty grim. And sad.
As I said before, these incredible people pick up the shards and pieces of broken lives and attempt to put them back together the best way they know how. They are approaching the problem we ourselves created head-on.
They do the most admirable work and I know it can’t be easy for them. But unfortunately it’s very necessary. And until we can figure out a way to make the Oasis obsolete, there will always be a need for them.
So if you can help them, please do so. Here is a link to their “Pennies for Parrots” campaign: Pennies for Parrots Just five dollars can make a difference to these birds.
Quasimodo thanks you. And so do I.