Some Japanese tourists were stood nearby and noticed the panda’s stillness and came over to try and get him to move or to look at them. The panda was impervious and just stared deep into me. The guide with us was getting agitated and saying this was really unusual behaviour for a panda, but I could barely hear him. It felt like I was melting into this stunning creature.
It felt like hours or maybe seconds. I wasn’t sure which. Millennia maybe. I am assured it was “several minutes”. And then I saw what he was seeing. Baby panda everywhere, playing rolling, multiplying. Panda in the wild. In beautiful, healthy habitats, chewing away all day on their precious bamboo. Safe, happy, undisturbed by man.
Suddenly, I found myself making promises to the panda that I would do what I could. That I would empower changemakers. That I would be there for him, be his hands and his voice in a world that couldn’t hear or see him. I felt this deep desire to create the picture that he had shown me.
Eventually, I wiped the tears from my face (I hadn’t even realised I was crying) and I nodded to him.
He nodded back, picked up his bamboo and wondered off to sit under the trees, not even having the grace to look back once at me.
I asked my guide about him. What was his name? “Oh” said the guide “His name translates as Beautiful Dream”.
When I find myself struggling, when I feel like I am not doing enough, I look to Beautiful Dream and his vision. I remember that it took me 50 years to get to meet pandas but that it was worth the wait. And that I want my granddaughter to meet pandas and for Beautiful Dream to get his vision.
There are very, very special people working on reversing the declining numbers of panda in the world. My promise is to be there supporting changemakers. Creating a network of changemakers. Encouraging them to become Gamechangers and to create a space for them to be together. Challenging them look after themselves first so that their important work is sustainable and impactful. Beautiful Dream is who inspired The Legacy Creation Clan – come and join us
So much love,