The Joy of Broken Promises
It always starts the same, “I will not, can not loose another piece of my heart. I will not fall in love.” But over and over, for nearly 20 years, I fall in love and lose pieces of my heart. The most recent piece was lost to Pallas’ cat kitten “Red”. I suppose the act of caring for him daily, literally hundreds of hours, predisposed me to not keeping my promise to myself. That’s not exactly true though.
Each animal that I care for or am responsible for grabs, with tooth, claw or talon, a piece of me; and they take it with them when they leave my care. No words patch the hole; time does not fill the hole and so it remains theirs. Somehow, almost miraculously, my heart continues to beat in spite of its Swiss cheese appearance. It does this because, remaining under my watchful eye, are 168 other animals for which I will break my promise…every time.
Despite what some might think, zoo keeping is not an easy job. Young, old, planned and unexpected losses happen, along with long hours and sleepless nights. The act of caring for another being is amazing and the gifts I am granted from that act shore me up. The holes are braced by the joy I feel when I break my promise all over again. -Robin Lentz, Co-Director