Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Celebrating a Tree Called "Hope"

This is Hope, Planted December 2011
Our Seed of Life campaign has been in full swing for some time now. Many of our guests that visit Selvatica and plant a seed do so with a funny name, some plant it in dedication to a friend or loved one, and some plant the seed for a meaningful cause. We would love to share the story of a little seed that was planted in the name of  Hope. This seed that was planted in December of 2011 has a tremendous meaning for one of our favorite guests. Her name is Gretchen from Colorado. She visited the park while on vacation with her family, little did she know how that day spent in the jungle would effect her life. Not only did she spend an amazing day zip lining and enjoying time with her family, she gained an entire new family in Mexico.
The following was written in December and posted in her personal blog. You will find a link at the end of this post.
Gretchen's words..."We are home now after nine wonderful days in Mexico – celebrating Christmas and spending quality time with my family. It was great to get away from the holiday madness and re-center.  It’s amazing how much peace is found in sunshine, waves and sand!  I had plenty of time for my family and quiet walks on the beach alone for reflection and prayer.  What a beautiful escape and respite between surgery and the next step in treatment, radiation.  It was hard to leave and get back to reality!"

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), It’s always our self we find in the sea.” ~e.e. cummings

"One of the highlights of the trip for all of us was ziplining over the rainforest canopy.   It was terrifying climbing the first set of stairs up the side of a tree but before I had time to think about it our guide smiled and gave me a push, “Bye, bye, SeƱora!” and I was screaming over the jungle!  Altogether there were 12 ziplines, all connected.  We arrived at the end of each, breathless and grinning, climbed another tree platform and took off again.  It was such a metaphor of life – the climb can be terrifying and challenging, but the ride is unexpectedly exhilarating and the view is unbelievable if you take time to stop being afraid and notice."

               ”When your vision fills up with the greatness of God,  you become fearless.” – Kevin Miller

"The happy bonus at the end of the day was the opportunity to plant a palm tree seed.  I love the idea of leaving a place better than we found it and planting a tree in the rainforest after an amazing day was so fulfilling.  Not only that, we each got to name the future tree we planted - I named mine HOPE."

I sent a note to the owners and managers of the zipline company (Selvatica Adventure Kingdom) to compliment the staff, thank them for a wonderful day and explain why planting a seed was meaningful to me.  They replied, in part, “That’s awesome!!!  You are in our thoughts and our prayers and we are sending you all the positive energy the jungle can muster.  PS – Hope is alive and growing by the second!”
"Radiation starts next week.  January 4th I go for a practice run and start treatments on the 5th.  I’ll go five days a week for four weeks.  The next step is genetic testing and counseling – I’m taking it one day at a time and crossing each bridge as I get to it!"

On January 27th, after keeping a watchful eye on Hope she finally decided to say hello to the world and fulfill her destiny of letting us know Hope was alive.
Planting a seed after an adventure of a lifetime may seem to some like just a small gesture, but for some it means the world. The contact and friendships that have been made because of this small gesture surpasses the ends of the universe.

Gretchen has had a courageous fight against breast cancer and currently winning that fight. If you or someone you know needs an encouraging friend leave a comment and contact info on her blog.

Just Grateful is the link to Gretchen's blog.

We love you G and just know that your family south of the boarder will always keep you in our hearts that beat united.

To share a green idea visit our Facebook page, it needs some great ideas!

1 comment:

  1. Missey,

    I was touched and speechless when I read your blog! We knew when we were at Selvatica that "adventure day" would always be memorable for us. The staff was amazing and genuinely having fun; special people, special place. I had no idea that you would continue to make me smile long after we returned to Colorado or that your encouragement would become an important part of my healing. Planting a seed of Hope and watching it grow , both literally and figuratively, gave me strength on some dark days and I am grateful to all of my "jungle family" for your support and for the awesome things you are doing every day.