is for elephant, of the exuberant kind
Oh the winter weariness. The frigid temps break only long enough to dump tons more snow and then plunge back into the realm of crazy coldness. We’re running out of places to shovel the snow, and my husband is still recovering from straining his back shoveling two storms ago. Sigh.
But we look for our joy where we can find it and last night before I went to bed I was thinking about these wonderful lines from John O’Donohue:
“When your eyes freeze behind the grey window
And the ghost of loss gets into you,
May a flock of colors, indigo, red, green
And azure blue, Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.”
Oh yes! What a beautiful invocation to drift off into sleep on. And my dreams did their best to cheer me up by escorting me to a delightful Holi-esque celebration where exuberant elephants where responsible for flinging color everywhere. What fun!
Dear Elephants –
Have I told you lately how much I love you? From your first appearance in my baby life as a plush toy that walked I was smitten with you and my delight has only grown exponentially with the years. I am most definitely a card-carrying member of the Elephant Adoration Society. Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s poetry taught me I am affected by Aanabhrandhanmar, which means mad about elephants. I carry that proclamation proudly.
It is said you once had wings; and that you are associated with clouds; and there is that wonderful tale of your alliance with the rabbit kingdom. You carry such powerful medicine and have so much to teach us about communication and loyalty, compassion, intelligence and nobility. You are considered a “keystone species” playing a pivotal role in structuring both plant and animal communities. And our species has grievously harmed yours to near extinction with poaching and habitat encroachment. I love that the Dutch word for you is olifant; in Lithuanian you are called dramblys; and Swahili hails you as tembo. Such beautiful words befit creatures as wondrous as you, and to them all I add Beloved. May you always be safe, always know peace, always know joy. And know I love you!
In celebration of my pachyderm love are a few things that delight me:
- Jami Sieber’s Hidden Sky album is a tribute to the Thai elephants.
- Photographer Gregory Colbert’s body of work Ashes and Snow is sublime.
And here’s additional proof elephants are magical. I was gifted this beauty by a dear friend, and look, she has a secret compartment!
What about you? Do you share my elephant love? Still carry love ties to an animal you met in your childhood? Can you flap your ears like an elephant? Or have a recipe for pastry elephant ears? Do tell – you know I love to hear.