*Thanks to my friend Debra Dickey-Liang for sharing as today’s guest contributor!*
I’ve been a long-time fan of elephants! It’s taken me a while to figure out exactly why. I only knew that they were regal, majestic animals, dignified in their bearing, who have such expressive eyes that allow you to see into their very beings, and that they are excellent mothers who are fiercely protective of their young.
So by doing just the simplest of research, some of the admiration I have always felt for the magnificent elephant was put into very meaningful context. I’ve confirmed that:
• Elephants form deep family bonds.
• Having a baby elephant is a serious commitment.
• They are quite peaceful if left alone; typically very affectionate animals.
• Elephants are extremely intelligent and have memories that span many years.
• The matriarch and other senior females carry within their memories the wealth of knowledge gained from their life experiences. This is vital to the extended family’s well-being.
• They also display signs of grief, joy, anger, and play.
• Recent discoveries have shown that elephants can communicate over long distances by producing a sub-sonic rumble that can travel over the ground faster than sound through air. Other elephants receive the messages through the sensitive skin on their feet and trunks.
• The elephant is not thick-skinned, but actually has a very sensitive outer dermis.
• The elephant’s feet are an amazing product of genetic engineering making them unsurpassed as a means of traversing saturated ground or marshland. (An amazing, but nevertheless accurate, fact is that an elephant’s height at the shoulder is twice the circumference of his foot.)
• Different herds can come together at favored water holes or grazing sites. There is never friction between the groups, and observers have reported that often these appear to be joyous reunions. (Peace holders!)
• Although they are the strongest of animals, they can truly die from a broken heart.
• Elephants have no natural predators; however that doesn’t mean they are always safe out in the wild.
Strength of character, unconditional love, quintessential sensitivity, together with rich knowledge and abundant understanding, family-oriented, peace-loving souls, also possessing essential tools which enable them to negotiate perilous ground without misstep, fault, or waver – yes! Not only are these the same traits that I seek to find in myself, but these are also the beautiful characteristics that I find demonstrated in the wonderful array of fascinating, gifted, talented, and caring people in my life. Now I absolutely understand the reason that the elephant has always held such a high degree of regard and attraction for me!
As an aside, I have also noted that the elegant elephant expresses positively no self-deprecation about being gray, wrinkled, and completely devoid of an hourglass figure . . . yet she still exhibits an abundant supply of confidence and self-esteem. Such a resplendent, stately creature. Who of us wouldn’t admire that?