“I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life...to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
~Henry David Thoreau
I get to thinking sometimes about all the things I have been able to experience in my lifetime and places I have been, and I have come to realize over the years that I feel the most ‘alive’ when I am around our special needs campers – no matter what their diagnosis, no specific ‘category’ makes me feel more alive than others. I love their beauty, their innocence, I love their drive for every day living, their love of small things – how a swing can make someone feel so at peace with the world for hours – their amazing expressions when floating down the river for the first time in their life…something that they have never been given the chance to experience and I know deep inside that they probably never would have gotten the chance if it wasn’t for our Dream coming alive – Caglewood!
And I get sad at times when I think about how people are missing out on such amazing – life ‘marrow sucking’ experiences. Soul enlightening experiences are different for every single person – I would LOVE to see everyone reach out and search for that one thing in life that really takes them to a different level of ecstasy, some place completely unfamiliar, no matter what it is. How peaceful would this world be?!
I see people all the time become completely involved in and advocating for groups of different purposes – I think it is AMAZING!!! But what I see the most of is people becoming involved in these groups because they personally have been affected by these diseases, disabilities, pollution, disaster, etc…
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all just ventured out and learned about, supported, advocated for things that are totally beyond our ‘comfort zone’ – something that has never touched our lives in any way? I feel that our world needs more of that. I am very lucky to have found my passion in life and mine is definitely helping others – doesn’t matter who they are – could be an old person needing food, a child with special needs that has never seen the wonders of nature, a person in the super market that can’t reach an item on the top shelf, a turtle in the middle of the road that needs saving =), venturing out to the jungles of another country a lot less fortunate than our poorest cities, where my life is threatened – just to build a toilet for a village and nurse back to health children that may never have reached their 5th birthday.
All of this makes me feel ALIVE – along with Caglewood which is my greatest passion. I urge all of you to go out and find your ecstasy – Life is so amazing and much more amazing if you get out and truly experience every thread of it. Rather than sitting inside and bitching about what is wrong with the world, what bad things happen, how horrible certain people are, etc…which is so common in today’s world of politics, religion differences, and crap – focus on the good, focus on the marrow that needs to be sucked! Where is it? What is it? And how do I get to my ecstasy??
With all of that off my chest…sorry… On to RACHEL!!!!
Oh Rachel – a little (not so little girl any more) girl whom I nannied, along with her sister Hayley, back in 2003 and 2004 – both summers while her parents were working and on week long vacations. I remember oh so clearly our days at the pool, the stubborn ‘sister fights’, every morning with our sausage biscuits cooked oh so perfectly, and sleeping with earplugs in because Miss Rachel missed her daddy so much that she had to sit on his side of the bed and just watch tv all night long. She and her sister have blessed us with their presence on a few of our Caglewood trips in the past few years, also.
And Hayley volunteering on a Caglewood Trip last year:
Well, Rachel and Hayley are both seniors in High School this year at Dacula High School here in Ga – with around 2000 students, it is fairly large school for these ‘parts’. Friday night – under the Football Lights, Rachel was crowned Dacula High School’s 2010 Homecoming QUEEN!!!! GO RACHEL!!
Here is the video from her news fame!!!! Click below and check it out!!! :
And come to find out…Rachel’s boyfriend Jeffery (who also has Down Syndrome) and who has been her boyfriend for over 10 years (he lives about 4 houses down from her) was crowned Homecoming King at their dance this weekend. If you watch the news story above, you can see it all happen =)
WOOHOOO!!! So cute…and such an amazing story. I am so proud of this little girl but also proud of the student body that she encounters every single day.