In the still quiet of dawn not yet broken, I awaken. With a rush, images of war run through my mind. A nightmare I cannot escape.
I turn over. Check the time on my phone. Not quite 5.
I close my eyes but the images awaken in the darkness.
I open my eyes.
In my dream, I am running from a battle. A tank rolls into view. I want to stop it. I put up my hands. Fire flashes from its snout. A blast of hot air washes over me as a tree falls.
I wonder about its survival. Will it ever be able to grow again? Will its family miss its sheltering branches joining with theirs, offering protection from the sun, cover from the rain, a home to nest in for forest animals?
Will it survive?
I turn and run. And awaken.
For a moment, I think it is my nightmare. And, as dreams have meaning, I wonder, ‘what is this dream telling me? Where in my life do I need to make peace?’
And then I remember.
I roll over, grab my phone, scroll through my newsfeed.
It wasn’t a nightmare only I could see, trying to awaken me to peace.
This is the nightmare millions of people are living right now. A nightmare from which they cannot awaken because the war has come to them. The war has arrived in hundreds of tanks rolling across their land destroying homes and roads and bridges indiscriminately. A war where soldiers fire weapons that kill and harm and maim and destroy everything in their line of sight.
The war where missiles fired from jets streaking across a smoky sky tear into a maternity ward killing all hope of peace before it is even born.
If like me you desperately want to do something, Heidi Baumbach is in need of support. Upon hearing of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Heidi, from a small central Alberta town, packed up suitcases of supplies and headed to Warsaw to help. She rented a car, and an apartment, drove to the border and picked up a family. She provided them support until they could arrange to move on to meet up with family in another country. And then, she welcomed in another family.
Heidi is doing this on her own. Any financial help she receives goes to supporting refugees. Not just the families she is sheltering, but also at the refugee camps. As she writes on a recent FB post:
The math is simple.
- $120 CAD buys $400 of toiletries—enough for me to stock the 3 stall bathroom supplying the entire Przemysl refugee camp for an evening.
- $25 CAD buys enough for a nice meal for everyone
- $100 buys what would cost $300-$400 back home for groceries.
If you would like to support Heidi and all she is doing, she has set up a GiveSendGo fund — she is trying to raise $10,000 to buy a van to help bring refugees to Lviv from other areas of the Ukraine and to pay rent on an apartment for refugees.
I heard of Heidi’s mission through a co-worker. His daughter and Heidi grew up together. When Heidi emailed me she told me she thinks of my co-worker as her second father. My co-worker, a CPA, is helping Heidi track donations and ensuring her financial records are beyond reproach.
If you can help, please do.
For me, giving directly to someone on the ground, someone who is on her own making a difference helps me feel less helpless.
You can learn more about Heidi’s story at these links:
Global News (Heidi’s interview begins at around 4:50)
This post is also in response to this week’s prompt at Eugi’s Causerie.
The prompt is ‘survival’.
The photo accompanies the prompt on Eugi’s website.