Serenity can enter your life when you least expect it. Being present and able to accept life’s gifts, helps in the quest to find a measure of that which makes life serene. It does mean taking time to accept what is in front of you and letting that surround you. Last week, we went on a family vacation and in some measure my wife, daughter and my daughter’s friend found that even if only for a few minutes.
We took a trip to Wilmington, NC. We generally speaking had a good time going to the beach, visiting Myrtle Beach, SC – even if the drive there was longer than the stay and spending time with my parents. While there we visited a wonderful hospital in Topsail, NC.
Actually we visited the hospital twice, but only saw the facilities once. We heard about this unique hospital through my mom, I knew that I wanted to see it right away, so did my daughter’s friend Lauren. After doing a little research and planning we determined that Thursday would be the day.
We made the drive from Wilmington to Topsail on hot and humid day. Figuring that we would get there and get out of the “weather” quickly, wrong! An hour wait to enter and at least half of that would be in direct sun. We decided that though we had made the trip, we would not be able to wait. I was not happy and neither was Lauren. We did however decide to return the next day with dress more appropriate for the wait.
It was worth the return trip. Getting there shortly before the hospital opened, shortened our time in the queue. The staff provided us with some interesting facts about the patients and we were afforded the opportunity to get our own questions answered. So what makes this hospital so special? What makes it worth two forty minute drives from Wilmington? In short the patients. The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center caters to injured sea turtles.
Magnificent creatures, these turtles are. We saw Oceans 11, named for the 11 steel plates used to hold her shell together while she heals from a boating mishap. There was lefty, who was brought to the center as a hatchling missing a right flipper – the interns told us lefty probably was attacked by a crab or gull. There was Lennie, a blind Kemps Ridley, who is a permanent resident. While there is more than a measure of sadness, great satisfaction comes from knowing that these people have saved dozens of these beautiful animals. With a life span of up to a hundred years, these gentle giants need our help.
So where does the serenity enter? After spending time learning about these turtles, you can’t help but feel connected. Some of these patients will spend years in the care of these very special people. Serenity enters when you let it. Seeing people care for, nurture and release these “patients” created such an amazing feeling for our family. It brought tears to our eyes. Not only did we get to see these turtles up close, we were able to contribute to their well being. This facility and its good works are donation funded.
The people at Karen Beasley are in the process of building a new facility on Topsail. The new hospital will allow them to expand their efforts from the dozen turtles that they help today, to as many as forty at a time. Please visit their website, better yet stop in for a visit. Soak up some sun in line and feel the serenity from being in the presence of these majestic creatures.
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