Two weeks ago I went to the Oakland Zoo with my son and granddaughter. Oakland has done its best to make the animals feel at home. After taking the train through the prairies where buffalo were roaming and past the miniature jungle where the lonely tiger stalked, we stopped at the giraffes’ enclosure. The three giraffes were standing quietly in regal dignity, looking at us looking at them.
From their great height they looked down at the crowd, children running about, cameras blinking, adults trying to contain the children, people babbling in nonsensical fashion, a jungle of sound and motion. The giraffes were calm, quiet, self-contained, their large brown eyes soft and liquid as they gazed at us humans. Was that a look of compassion I saw in their eyes? In their hearts were they feeling sorry for us with our incessant motion and noise? Were they wishing that we could find the peace and calm they experienced?
With their heads in the trees and their feet on the ground, giraffes are a perfect conduit for the energies of earth and sky to meet and work their magic in the heart. We do not have their physical advantage, but we do have the capacity, when we open all the doors and windows of awareness wide, to receive energies of earth and sky beyond our physical bodies and to weave those energies into gifts of love and compassion.
We are living in a time which demands that we take a lesson from the giraffes and learn to look at everyone and everything with compassion and love, lest we become fragmented and create a jungle within ourselves. Giraffe consciousness used to be the province of the few, but now we all need to REMEMBER THE GIRAFFES!