The chimpanzees had a really great day today and we have some awesome new photos and video, but I felt the need to first share some of my thoughts for the day before I sort through the photos tomorrow – bear with me.
At the risk of giving away too much info to my fellow caregivers, I have to confess that I like to clean the front rooms in the morning. For some reason it’s very meditative for me – the spraying, the scrubbing, the rinsing, and the squeegeeing allow my mind to slow down a bit and contemplate stuff. This morning there were two main places where my mind went.
The first place was gratitude – overwhelming gratitude.
It probably began when I opened up a package for the chimpanzees from an old friend on the way to the chimp house this morning. Included in the package was a card with an outpouring of support and well-wishes.
When I was cleaning the front rooms I started to think about all of the donations that we’ve received. Virtually every toy you see in the photos and videos on this blog, every blanket, every sheet, and the majority of the food the chimps eat every day has been donated. Even the labor to create and beautify the building was donated. Even before the chimpanzees arrived, individuals were sending care packages with stuffed animals, toys and bedding for the chimps; fellow sanctuaries have donated excess enrichment, and their interns have made dried fruit and cereal necklaces (a huge hit, as you can imagine); blog readers have had a blast shopping on Target and quickly bought nearly every item on our wish list; and then there’s the financial donations – we’re still a small organization in terms of numbers of supporters. I can’t tell you how much each and every dollar is appreciated. And all of that doesn’t even cover the letters, phone calls and blog comments – the kind and supportive words from old and new friends.
Thinking about all of this generosity made me realize I am really behind in thanking people! So here’s my public apology to everyone who I haven’t personally thanked – please know you are appreciated every single day!!
My second big “cleaning meditation thought” was on the number seven. I’ve never been into numerology, but there’s something about the number seven, and I just love that people have picked up on the name the Cle Elum Seven (the name came from Lauren Walton of the Kittitas County Historical Museum, and I liked it so much I began using it right away).
When I was thinking about all of the new generous friends that the chimpanzees have, I thought about how few people knew about them prior to this point in their lives. It’s sad to think that only a handful of people knew these individuals, and they only knew them in the context of a laboratory or the entertainment stage.
They deserve to be known, and I want everyone to share a connection with them and learn about their personalities, their pasts and their new sanctuary lives. Hw many people are now connected to Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, and Negra? And how can we all make sure more and more people learn about them? And these questions lead me to my next post …. – Diana