Manda Crawford sponsored this day of sanctuary: “In honor of Burrito, Jamie, Jody, Annie, Missy, Foxie, Negra, Honey B, Willy B, and Mave. The best day ever! Independence Day!”
Thank you so much, Manda, for helping to ensure the chimpanzees (and cattle) have as much freedom, independence and choice as possible, for all their days forward. We’re so grateful to be able to celebrate these things in the chimps’ lives. Happy Fourth of July!
Independence means different things to different people. Our personal and collective versions of freedom can be found in the broader sense of the word, yes, but also sometimes in the smallest of places. For the chimpanzees, while the freedom of living the natural lives they were meant to was taken from them, a home in sanctuary where they can just be themselves and are able to make as many choices as possible about their day, is the closest to freedom they’ll know.
Here at the sanctuary, in a way, we get to celebrate a kind of Independence Day every day, in one form or another. It’s a profound joy, a privilege and an inspiration to witness each of the chimpanzees explore both their inner and outer independence each and every day because of what you make possible for them. And while we celebrate and hold profound gratitude for these experiences in the chimps’ lives, we hold a space of honor and support for all those still waiting for their Independence Day, in whatever form that may take. Ultimately, all any living being wants and deserves is the freedom to live their lives as they’re meant to, to follow their hearts and make their own choices with the same dignity and respect afforded anyone else.
Whether it’s in taking the first tentative steps outside of not only your comfort zone, but all you’ve known, like Willy B:
To express the joy of being ourselves, like Honey B and Mave:
To rest in comfort, like Negra….
…and be at ease when you need to, or just because you feel like it, like Jody:
We see it when Missy runs to her heart’s content for no other reason than her sheer joy of running:
In Jamie’s freedom to express her wants and needs (and know she’ll be heard):
In the freedom to choose who you spend your time with and how:
In the ability to raise your children and live your lives with your family, like Betsy and Nutmeg:
and Honey and Meredith:
To walk your own path as you choose, like Annie:
To simply love who you love, like Foxie:
To dream, hope, and imagine (Jamie).
And to just be (Burrito):
Linda C says
Thank you, Manda!
Happy 4th to all things furry, staff, volunteers, and readers!
Thank you Manda for reminding us that Freedom For All means Freedom For ALL. All beings large and small.
Thank you Katelyn for your deeply moving thoughts and words in relationship to what freedom means to everyone living at CSNW and to all the fortunate creatures who get to enjoy the joys only a sanctuary life can bring. And thanks for reminding us of the ones who are still desperately waiting for their long overdue chance for freedom. This post is very moving indeed.
Speaking of freedoms, I came across a poem today by Langston Hughes written in 1935 titled “Let America Be America Again”. Sadly, I would swear it was written today. But it brings home how vital it is to truly have freedom for ALL.
Edie Bruce says
What a wonderful post! I love all the photos, and seeing the emotions on all those
beautiful faces-thank you.
John Joseph O'Brien says
Awesome, beautiful words. The Chimp in the first two pics looks like they’re getting read for a 4th of July picnic.
Thanks, John. That’s Foxie and Jody from last year’s July 4th celebration.
Thank you for the beautiful post and photos!
Arlene and Michael says
Thank you for the wonderful post. Such beautiful pictures and words. Happy Independence Day to all.
To our US cousins greetings from Australia, everyone chimps and the carers have a great celebration.