Over a dozen years ago, my son and I participated on this project and we have returned every year.  And every year we return to Iowa with such enrichment and anticipation for the next time.  Once a year we become a mere species in nature, where you live in harmony and experience your vulnerability.  We have the privilege of participating in this project to perpetuate the survival of this marvelous creature, the Loggerhead sea turtle.  This is where science and spirituality exist in harmony.  Still after all this time, the excitement prevails, each female that we "greet", secure and monitor her nest, sometimes meet her offspring and have the reward of viewing the hatchlings scampering to the sea with high hopes for their future.  Our week with Mother Nature is on her terms.  Just to illustrate that thought brings to mind the stargazing, a thunderstorm, feeling the saturation of rain, the serenity of an unpopulated beach, the devastation of a fire, the wildlife (including the marvelous bugs), listening to a frog/toad symphony, embracing the sun and the moon, and watching the night come alive.

This volunteer experience is also an exercise in humanity.  We exist with such a diverse collection of people, sharing humor, talents, adventures and the opportunity to co-exist at its very best.  Memories are made from this.

This yearly event for Jon and myself continues to provide the opportunity to contribute to a common cause and passion that we share, enjoy associated relationships with others (long term and short term), seek never ending answers to never ending questions, immerse ourselves in Mother Nature's harmony and embrace whatever adventure may unfold.In closing, on a light note, we may have gone through life; not knowing what the "chocolate sprinkles" on the beach are, freeing an upset female turtle from a tree branch, divide and conquer multiple nesters, experience close encounters with the wildlife and truly enjoy life's simple pleasures.

Linda N.
Iowa City, IA