Soaking in the water and floating under the stars can help. A regular, long time visitor came in the other afternoon with her 16 year old daughter. I remembered the daughter from a time 12 years ago. She was four years old then and liked to hang out in the construction zone. Her mom told me the background of how she was able, twelve years ago, to donate $5,000 with one check to the fledgling Orient Land Trust. Kathy, the mom, had decided to quit smoking and drinking. Never a heavy smoker or over imbiber, she thought that she no longer needed either of those things in her life. She got a jar and started putting the money into the jar that had formerly gone to buy the things she was letting go. Two and three dollars at a time, she put money in the jar.
We all go through rough patches and one of those times cast a shadow over Kathy’s life. In a span of 23 months, she saw 18 people who were near and dear die. Five of those were children. She came to the hot springs and let her tears flow with the water. Kathy found comfort and solace in the hot springs.
After a while, she counted up the money in her jar. There was $5,000 in that jar and she thought about what to do with all that money. She remembered the hot springs and how the time spent there had helped her with grief and with finding peace and maybe even a little joy. Although she has since used the money that she continues to set aside for vacations and travel, this time she wrote a check to the land trust. That made her OLT’s biggest donor at that time.
Standing at the front desk that afternoon a few weeks ago, I was again inspired by her generosity and gentleness. After she and her daughter went to soak and swim in the sunset light, those of us in the Welcome Center that had heard her story got to thinking about how Kathy’s story had moved us and how we wanted to pass it along.
Thank you, Kathy!