Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Zen at the Zoo

So I live by a Zoo. 
Sadly, I've probably been to the Zoo more times as an adult than I did as a child, and perhaps I have my niece to thank for that. 
This is baby Zuri and her mom Christie. Zuri just celebrated her fourth birthday and is much bigger now (she and my niece are the same age, so they feel like kin). If the baby elephant wasn't cute enough, Zuri also lives with her grandmother (Dari) who is the oldest elephant in North America!
I like to watch these female elephants take care of each other in their matriarchy.
 Currently, my Dad is the only male in a house full of women - this might drive him nuts eventually.
With my mom, my two older sisters, my niece, and myself, we make up a fine little matriarchy raising a four-year old baby elephant! except she actually thinks she's a lion, but that's ok. 
We also have a baby giraffe at the zoo! She's so beautiful with her awkwardly skinny legs. I first met her when she was just a month or two old. I saw her learning how to run as she scampered off amongst the slow moving adults. I laughed seeing the adults tolerate her energy and wobbly legs learning new strides.
However, I think my all-time favorite are the seals. I could watch them forever floating on their back like a smooth torpedo through the cold water. They are so zen. Sometimes I imagine coming to the zoo when a day has been especially difficult and just watching the seals until I feel at peace again. I love to watch them transition from land to water. On the land they move slowly and awkwardly as they wiggle themselves one blubber piece at a time, but once they hit the water- they glide! They thrive in their element (their niche) and they seem blissful. 
Maybe we are all like that at times. We flounder around trying to be someone we're not, or in a situation we aren't used to, but once we hit the water (that thing that makes us feel most ourselves) we zoom, thrive, glide, and bathe in the glory of our niche. I guess i'm trying to find that right now- trying to reconnect with my niche. Wow! The things you discover about yourself at the Zoo.