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Elephants on the loose

They say, silence is golden.

I have certainly been silent for a few weeks now, but I haven’t been idle!

I am compelled to ask: has it been a golden silence for you?

I have been immersed in the world of academic writing, preparing conference presentations, and a host of other things related to my job and life in general. Simply put, life has been hectic and I had nothing left for my writing here. Reluctantly blogging was relegated to the bottom of my ‘To Do’ list.

Then there was the dreadful cold that decided to attack me. As a result everything has taken me a lot longer than it normally would as I have struggled for clarity inside a fuzzy, cold infested brain.

Meanwhile time is ticking by and I have a desperate need to reconnect with my space and those of you out there who join me here. I am sitting here suffering blog withdrawal symptoms; yet I am left wondering where to begin.

A little voice said to me “Elephants!”

I had to giggle.

“Can’t you come up with something better than this to write about Marica?”

“Well, Trevor has written a book about elephants and he has published it on his blog. The pages are all listed as separate posts,” said the voice. “It is a great story, a great message, and beautifully illustrated.”

How can you go to bed with an elephant in your head?

“Mmmm, trying to spread the word as to what is happening to elephants is a worthy enough topic,” I thought. After all I love these huge animals. They have such presence.

My thoughts turned to my friend Sherry.

About ten years ago while Sherry was visiting my home we watched a programme on television about The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Then Sherry discovered their web site. There was no looking back and definitely no stopping her. She was going to visit and this year her dream became reality. While she was there Sherry decided to foster an orphaned elephant – Makena. Her emails were full of wonder and excitement.

Today at last I got to the orphaned elephants at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust …

… I have never seen milk disappear so fast. The smallest baby of 6 months had a blanket put on its head that represented what her mother would have done to teach how to lay her trunk on her head so she could suckle … One baby elephant found the blown up tractor tyre and started to roll on it and play then others joined in. The keepers then started to throw mud at them and it was a free for all with all 9 baby elephants rolling in the mud and falling over each other. One baby had mud in its eye and you saw it use the tip of its trunk to get rid of the mud, picking it off like a finger would. They are so like people needing to constantly make contact with each other.

After seeing the elephants I signed up and became a foster parent to the smallest elephant called Makena (meaning ‘happy’) six months old. She was found wandering on her own and to this day seldom stops moving – a restless spirit.

… you would be fascinated at how similar baby elephants are to the human kind. Their needs and what happens when they are starved of love and affection – they die!!! It does however depend on their personality and attitude – where have we heard that before!!!

“This is interesting but … so what?” said that persistent little voice. “What is the point of all this?”

“It’s to do with the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant of course!”

“I don’t get it,” said the voice.

There is never just one way to look at something – there are always different perspectives, meanings, and perceptions, depending on who is looking.

“I told you my brain has been a bit fuzzy,” I responded. “The funny thing is I get it even if you don’t.”

I have discovered that I have friends who love elephants which such a passion that they have taken some kind of action.

There are many things in my life that I apply a similar kind of energy to – blogging for instance. I find that being part of the blogosphere is very much like the story of the blind men and the elephant – we all contribute our version to a bigger picture and a greater understanding. In turn we start to put together an elephant which all of us can identify or connect with. Developments in social software are making it possible for us to participate in energised global conversations. We are creating our own huge living and breathing “spirited” elephant.

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