The sanctuary is a special place. But then I probably don’t need to tell you that. We are so fortunate to watch the beauty of so many seasons come and go not only around the sanctuary grounds, but for all of us here to be able to pass through our own seasons in life in this sanctuary home.
There has been a wedding here, celebrations of all shapes and sizes, people have honored loved ones here who have passed away, and most of us spend all of our birthdays and holidays here. I was in the chimp house when I was offered my job here, I was here when I learned my heart could hold more love than I ever thought possible, and it seems that somehow I am always in the chimp house when I’ve learned of the passing of family and loved ones. And every single day we are honored and privileged to watch the winters, springs, summers and falls of the chimps’ lives unfold with never-ending surprise, adventure, joy, healing and love. We’re all so lucky, chimps and humans alike, to have this place to live out the seasons of our lives. And please know that we consider you part of it all. This special place wouldn’t exist without you.
As autumn settles in around us none of us could be happier (and I am pretty sure the chimps are as excited as the humans). We’ve been enjoying countless walks with the chimps around Young’s Hill in the cool, fresh air, harvesting pears from the orchard, climbing the apple trees and dangling precariously over the pond to reach the last of the fruit on the furthest branches, and today we harvested the very first little pumpkins from the chimps’ garden!
A Foxie-size pumpkin:
And a bonus photo of Jamie, plotting and planning, because, obviously…
So we’re celebrating seasons and all they bring to our lives tonight with an impromptu “Welcome, Autumn!” dinner party and the chimps’ are enjoying roasted onions, peppers, pears and pumpkins still warm from the oven with some extra tiny lemons and tangerines. And one of the chimps’ favorite evening enrichments, “grab bags,” filled with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and all manner of odds and ends. A favorite of Jamie’s as you will see below.
Queen Negra enjoying the first serving of the season of pumpkin:
Jody enjoying roasted onion:
Jamie with (practically) ALL the grab bags (she went through the chimp house grabbing them and tossing them over her shoulder into a pile until she was ready to go through them.):
Happy autumn, all!