This is the story of how I learned about Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who had a jungle hospital in Equatorial Africa. The reverence for life for all animals, he created this idea when he was in Africa in 1913, when he first went to the hospital in the jungle.
The reverence for life came to me when my mother passed away. I was stationed in Germany. I came home to New York, and my father said, “I want you to meet this woman”. She was a Jewish refugee from Vienna. She won the 1958 Oscar for a documentary on Albert Schweitzer, who I’d heard of.
So we saw the video of his, with the animals, and the African hospital, helping the natives with free medical care.
While we were walking back from her barn, where the movie projection was shown, and she was with my father and I, and she stopped me. And there was a black and red, woolly caterpillar walking in my path. I wasn’t going to step on it, but she held me back, picked up the caterpillar, and put it over to the side. And I thought my mother had just passed, my mother would love, loved animals and this, really, I connected to my mother through this experience. Here she was, picking up the woolly caterpillar, and putting it over. This was in the fall, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and I learned about Schweitzer’s reverence for all life. He would not even kill a mosquito.
She wrote the book, Albert Schweitzer picture book, the last book my mother was reading before she died of cancer.
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