Aileen Walden And The Canyon’s Magic

December 16, 2009

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.” -Anais Nin

I wake early to a quiet peacefulness as the sun begins to peek just over the top of the canyon. A horse rolls in the snow outside my window and I watch as his breath meets the chilly air. I slept easily and feel more rested than I have in months, only waking once during the night, without that familiar feeling of “where am I”. I’ve visited Best Friends many times, but never stayed in the cottages, as they are high in demand and usually reserved. This is a wonderful new pleasure and I make a mental note to myself to plan well in advance for all of my future visits.canyon

Venturing outside of the cottage, I’m met once again with magic of the canyon, its walls now sprinkled with snow and the air crisp with the winter chill. It bustles quietly as people make their way to work and I daydream of what it would be like to work here. I’ve said this many times, but I’ll say it again. This is a special place and if you ask anyone who’s been here before, they’ll tell you the same thing. It’s one of those places that you wish you could keep to yourself, but know that you can’t as it relies on all of us to spread the word that will help create a better world for all animals. Even though I tell a lot of people about Best Friends, I make another note to myself to tell even more!

I head over to meet with Aileen Walden to make a donation from the 438,000 party. Aileen is the Senior Manager of Stewardship and Donor Relations and is as wonderful and delightful in person as she has been through our email conversations. She is passionate about her job and Best Friends and I smile inside as I hear Cain’s woof of approval. She listens as I talk about Cain and shares her own stories about her animal friends that have touched her life, all of them affectionately displayed on the walls of her office. We talk easily, mixing laughter with tears, while she offers me hope and understanding and her set of ears. Conversation I so desperately crave, shared unselfishly by a new a friend. Our meeting ends with a warm embrace and I can’t thank her enough for the time she spent with me. DSC00118 Though I didn’t tell her then, it meant the world to me. I head out the door with a smile on my face knowing Aileen and the canyon are the perfect start to my day.