Oh, but look how far you have come, my dear.
Rainbow found our care and kindness on 7 July this year, with her bones, which rose like apex points through her emaciated form, threatening to break through at her hips.
Pressure sores covered her pitiful body, as an ulcer plagued her left eye. A gazillion well-fed lice, which had fuelled her anaemia, busily rumbaed over her dry skin, causing her once-beautiful but now dull and lifeless black fur to move like waves in a turbulent storm.
And, alas for her, it was only the lice that moved, for so ill had Rainbow become she could not move.
The pile of faeces that had mounded at her rear end, along with the deeply etched soil that surrounded her, a legacy of her futile attempts to stand, told that this critical state had held her for some time.
“It’s going to take a miracle to save her,” was our collective unspoken thought as we drove the young heifer back to sanctuary after having secured her release.
A brilliant rainbow, with all of her magical hues, held vigil over us in the otherwise gloomy sky. This phenomenon of nature invited us to consider that miracles do happen, and that perhaps on this day we had just embarked upon one.
Day 26 of the Rainbow journal:
As sweet Rainbow felt the soil beneath her feet for the first time since her arrival, she slowly drank it all in with all of her senses. All of which then became infused with a wondrous sense of awe for her new way of being.
She was alive. She was truly alive.
Not recumbent in a stall. Not being hoisted up by ever-vigilant and caring humans.
She had found, too, her pot of gold.
A pot not filled with trinkets, treasures and coins, but a far grander prize – she had her life back. But this time no one is ever going to take this from her for reasons of their own.
She then cast her eyes towards the barn from which she had stoically and courageously just placed one foot after the other. A barn that will forever more carry her indelible hoof print of determination in the face of adversity.
Taking then a respite on the ground of her choosing, after having enthusiastically picked her own grass (following so many days of us doing so), her gaze then found her carers. Locking on to them, she made a reserved little sigh. A sigh that acknowledged her still-weakened state and her slowly-filling skeletal form.
A sigh too that conveyed she still has a way to go.
“Oh, but look how far you have come, my dear,” was our loving reply.
They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. All we have to do is have the courage and conviction to take that first one.
And although, just like dear Rainbow, they may be taken gingerly at first, the more they become steeped by our conviction and immersed by our dreams, the more possible, determined and strong they shall become.
It is a potent reminder to never give up, even when the odds seem insurmountable, that accepting the help of others can be one of the most courageous things we can do, and, most importantly of all, to remember that dreams are what keep us alive and fuel all of our tomorrows.
And if ever we are in doubt of this, all we need do is to stop and look how far we have come…