But they do, all the time. All creatures great and small surprise us every day with their ability to both love and be loved. It is the elephant in the room and, in this case, a real one – two of them in fact. I’ve never had a crush on an elephant, though I did ride one once as a child in a zoo. And what I remember most from that very brief encounter was the elephant’s trunk. It was prickly, not smooth, and expressive, like a human lips and arms all in one. So yesterday, while lazily loafing online attempting to avoid life’s bigger questions, I met Shirley.
The PBS series “Nature” chronicled Shirley’s long road to freedom at The Elephant Sanctuary in a piece in 2000. I will only warn you once, find Kleenex before you click play.
Shirley the Elephant, Part 1 & 2
You don’t have to be human to show humanity. Aside from the basic need of food and shelter, perhaps what really makes us all truly alive is the shared desire to be loved. We all just want to feel a little less alone on this strange chunk of rock that circles a slowly dying star. They say that elephants never forget, but today possibly the best think they can do is remind us to be a little kinder to all that walk or fly or swim with us on this lonely planet. Happy weekend, all.