I cannot emphasise enough the power of togetherness. As the saying goes, “No man is an island.” No matter how we try to seclude ourselves from the outside world, one way or another, we will still seek the comfort of a friend or a loved one. From time to time, being alone is fine. It gives us peace of mind, solemnity, and time to detach from the complexities of relationships. However, being able to create and maintain a relationship with someone strengthens the essence of humanity.

Just today, as I was doing myself a favour to give myself the care it needs (which I really need to do from time to time), I received a text message from Alan, the owner of the Calan Horse Sanctuary I’m volunteering at. If you can remember from my past blog posts, I’ve been doing volunteer work in the said sanctuary since the early months of this year. I go there for the night once a fortnight and I’m the only volunteer there. Alan is already of old age and doing the strenuous jobs every day at the sanctuary could be risky already for his health. But because of his passion and love for the rescued horses, he continues to be their loving caretaker. Nonetheless, he texted me this morning saying that Devon, one of the oldest horses in Calan, was down with colic and asked if I could come as quickly as possible. I hurriedly raced home and loaded up the Ute and left. It’s a 2.5-hour drive from home to Calan. When I got there, he said that he had given him some pain relief and some oil which is administered through the nostril to the stomach and helps with the passing of the sand in the stomach. Devon has since been on his feet and we’re keeping a close eye on him. If it happens again and he doesn’t respond to the treatment he will have to be put down.

It is heartbreaking to see a pet, an animal or a person deteriorating because of a disease or even of natural causes. We all go there. But that’s not the reason why I share this story. It is the togetherness that I, Alan and the horses have shared throughout my volunteering journey. We’ve only been seeing and working together for several months, but the trust, respect and, I’d say, love for each other is evident. Love is not only for intimate relationships, love is more than intimacy. I know you know what I mean. Knowing that someone needs you gives you a sense of responsibility – a purpose. Come to think of it, I may not need to look further. It’s just right here. My purpose. You see, togetherness doesn’t only build relationships, it creates you, yourself. Having someone to rely on and someone/something to take care of, to be accountable for is what adds meaning to our lives. Whether you are volunteering or otherwise, having that camaraderie among us can potentially create not only good relationships with each other but also a community that helps each other. A community that lifts each other. A community that stands together.