Space and time

September 11th, 2017 by Katelyn

Initially, Annie had no use for her party yesterday. While everyone else partied in the greenhouse Annie promptly bypassed the indoor festivities and ventured outside to Young’s Hill all on her own. She took her time foraging and scooped up most of everything that was out there, enjoying it all at her own pace. It was amazing to watch her sitting out there enjoying her celebration in peace and solitude.

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile you may know that Annie hasn’t always been so comfortable in her own skin. I think of all the chimps, her change over the last nine years in sanctuary is one of the most apparent. I still remember so clearly the early days after the chimps gained access to their outdoor enclosure and one day I watched Annie, sitting in the raceway to the hill wanting so badly to be with her best friend Missy who was zipping and zooming around out there with ease. Annie’s eyes were glued to Missy as she rocked with anxiety awaiting her return to the greenhouse.

It was heart wrenching to watch those moments. But of course, we trusted that Annie would find the courage to move forward in her own space and time. That’s one of the most beautiful things about sanctuary. Space and time. Space and time for each of the chimps to heal. Space and time for each of their battered souls to come back to them and explore, learn and remember who they are. After nine years in sanctuary, each of the chimps continue to surprise us every single day with their brave, daring, curious, creative, intelligent and beautiful selves.

What a gift that is. For all of us who have the privilege to watch them, and most importantly, for each of the chimps who with each passing day/week/month/year get to celebrate being their own person. However that looks.

Annie feet:

Bonus Negra photo from the party because, well, that face!:

15 Responses to “Space and time”

  1. Jill says:

    Wow, beautifully written post Katelyn! Thank you for sharing this. These are the highlight of my every day, to see how they are healing and progressing into their own.

  2. Paula says:

    You guys constantly move me with your compassion and love for these incredible animals. You get it, you know what it takes to help a injured and battered soul come back to life. Thank you guys. Many many thanks yous.

  3. tobin says:

    Those feet, that face! Perfection. I adore Annie and her companions. May she and her friends have many more birthdays.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Oh Katelyn, this is so beautiful. Annie is so beautiful. And she has come so far. It is amazing to think how far she had to dig down inside to be this independent, brave gal we celebrate today. (Pretty sure I could never overcome it all, even if I tried for a lifetime!) My heart raced when I read she foraged all by herself. And why not gather all those goodies for yourself Annie β€” it is YOUR day after all! Thank you for giving each chimp a special day to celebrate their endearing lives and grand accomplishments.

    Oh, and thanks a million for that magnificently yummy photo of Negra! Oh that face is right!!! (Be still my beating heart)

  5. Donna Oleksiuk says:

    A beautiful, moving post, Katelyn. Your words show so much love, compassion, and respect. I am SO SO grateful the precious Cle Elum Seven found you and CSNW – a place where they will always be loved and cared for πŸ˜€ <3

  6. jolathrop says:

    Beautiful and wonderful post and photos!! Thank you so much!! It’s so touching and gratitude flows to you in unending waves ~ all of you are beyond fabulous!! Much love and hugs to you all……

  7. Nicole Moore says:

    Tears. Tears of sadness for all the suffering endured and tears of joy and gratitude for all the love now given everyday. Thank you.

  8. Elaine Reininger says:

    I loved the description of Annie all anxious watching her best friend zooming about when they first were permitted to go outdoors years ago, wanting her to come back where she would be safe. You people have an incredible ability to convey things–all of you are great writers.

  9. Merle says:

    Thank you for sharing. Was there in spirit!

  10. Chris says:

    Ditto everyone’s thoughts here Katelyn…what a gift you’ve been given to behold the miracle of healing in these 7 amazing souls and the gift to tell us about it in such a beautiful and eloquent way. We are all so thank-ful to have you there as one of their caregivers…and I do mean Care!
    Annie dreamboat Annie! πŸ™‚

  11. When I first saw the blog title of “space and time”, I was SURE I was going to be reading a treatise by Jeeb on modern physics and special relativity.

    I KNOW! I JUST READ IT! πŸ˜€ Can’t help it, it’s where my mind resides daily.

    It’s interesting to me that all anyone needs to overcome any adversity is time…and love. I’d like to think that if humans who suffered any abuse were to be allowed time to heal in their own sanctuary, aided by other humans who had never even thought of laying a hand to another human being, we might also be allowed to share in the beauty of this kind of healing; free from the stresses of providing for families or having to be at school or work, just allowed to HEAL…quietly, in our OWN space and time. In some ways, despite their set-backs and horrific pasts, they almost have it better now than some hoomans I know. πŸ™‚

    As much as we can pontificate about the existential meaning behind their past suffering, their present triumphs, and future joys, still, nothing puts a smile on my face like a video of hearing them chow down at one of their famous par-tays!

    SO…WHERE IS IT? DID I MISS IT?! OH, THAT’S JUST GRRRRRRRRRRRRRREAT! What’s that you say? You didn’t even post one?? No, no, it’s fine. Don’t you worry about me. I’ll just be over here in the dark, sitting in the corner, counting my own feet.

    (Y’all know how I love to tease and bust your chops, right? Blame it on Jeeb. I believe he started it. πŸ˜€ Der, really *I* did, but we don’t have to tell *him* that.)

    • Kathleen says:

      Hi Carla, I believe you are really onto something with your idea of sanctuaries for humans who need to heal! Healing is a long, slow, steady process. A process that varies greatly for each and every individual. We humans send people to “clinics” and “hospitals” and “institutions” to heal β€” just the names alone conjure up more reasons for one to feel sick, depressed, anxious. Sending people to hospitals is similar to keeping chimpanzees in their biomedical laboratory confines even if they are no longer being experimented on. How could a retired chimp ever feel at peace, ever truly HEAL if they are left to live in the very environment that created and caused nothing but the fear, pain, anxiety they are trying to recuperate from?! It is simply inconceivable and ridiculous!

      If, instead, we were to go to a sanctuary like you suggest, and left to heal and blossom in our own sweet time while being nurtured by a beautiful, embracing environment around us….what a healthy experience that would be. But if I were to go to a sanctuary, I wouldn’t want just humans caring for me. I would need other animals to nurture my inner soul. I would need dogs and I would need access to the CSNW blog since these seven magnificent people give me so much peace, beauty and inspiration. 😊

  12. lisa says:

    such a beautiful post today. it is, without question, one of the highlights of my days . . . to see the message on my inbox from “wordpress.”

    thank you for sharing the lives of the “Cle Unum Seven.” we get these beautiful glimpses into their lives because of each of you at CSNW and I, for one, am so-so grateful.

    the post above from Carla Rene is goose-bumps beautiful. I don’t often read other people’s comments and so there was a reason that I was drawn to the one above today. to learn even more today and the day’s only just beginning. what else might I learn today? thank you, Carla Rene’.

    and again, thank you ALL at CSNW. Have a blessed day!!!

    most sincerely, lisa.

  13. lisa says:

    woops . . . I forgot to thank Katelyn for the post . . . “thanks katelyn.”

  14. Arlene and Michael says:

    I am a bit behind reading these blogs but I always enjoy them and the comments as well. Thank you all for being part of this wonderful network. I am so happy that Annie chose to do as she pleased on her birthday, and that they can all do as they please each day of their lives in this wonderful sanctuary. Hugs to all