261: Dec 2, 2020 An elephant sings deep in the forest about a star of peace. No astronomer finds it.
And the elephant sings deep in the forest-maze About a star of deathless and painless peace But no astronomer can find where it is. - Ted Hughes
A miracle happened a couple of days ago. Kevaan was an isolated elephant who had spent his entire life languishing inside a Pakistani zoo - often in chains. That all changed with an act of compassion from Cher and a years long campaign by animal rights activists who wanted to free this poor, lonely elephant.
I think Cher and the activists understand at a very basic level that all creation reflects the Divine essence - this lovely pattern which unites all living creatures and every grain of sand. The author of a book about Modoc, an amazing elephant puts it very well:
“Remember, the moon is reflected in one drop of water as it is the entire ocean-so it is with God. He is reflected in each living thing-in a grain of sand as the entire shore, one star as the whole universe. Each animal as in all creatures.”
― Ralph Helfer, Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived
Kaavan, became known as “the world’s loneliest elephant” after his partner, who lived with him, died in 2012. Kevaan spent 35 years in captivity — and in shackles — at Islamabad’s Marghazar Zoo.
Finally Kevaan is free.
Cher was with the elephant in Pakistan as he was loaded onto a plane for the 7 hour journey to Cambodia. She sang the hopeful lyrics from the “Cinderella” ballad “A dream is a wish your heart makes.”
A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you will lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true
Freeing Kaavan has been no simple task. Those close to the animal spent weeks training him to calmly enter and exit the custom-built crate designed to transport him. The Asian elephant’s trainers now know that music soothes his anxiety — something Cher has been happy to help with.
Despite initial concerns for the animal’s welfare, Amir Khalil, a veterinarian working at Four Paws, said Kaavan did not appear to be stressed during the seven-hour flight to his new home in Cambodia.
At the Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary, a “juicy fruitcake” and “welcoming committee” await — along with female neighbors who are expected to keep him company as he begins a new chapter in an environment where he’ll be safe and free to roam.
If elephants didn't exist, you couldn't invent one. They belong to a small group of living things so unlikely they challenge credulity and common sense.
Elephants are social animals and a solitary lifestyle can lead to boredom and behavioral problems. Following the death of Saheli, Kaavan’s zoo partner, his mental and physical health deteriorated.
I think we can relate to Kevaan's plight and our personal loneliness as we look back on 2020. Sheltering in place, maintaining distance and wearing masks is a real challenge. Without hugs or a kiss of peace we suffer.
But we have hope don't we! I can hardly wait to celebrate together.
And Elephants, like us, love reunions. "They recognize one another after years and years of separation and greet each other with wild, boisterous joy. There's bellowing and trumpeting, ear flapping and rubbing. Trunks entwine."
- Jennifer Richard Jacobson
May we greet each other with the same boisterous joy when we meet again!
Final word (love this quote)
"Would you rather be an elephant or an alligator?
I should want to be an elephant because they have very large ears but very small mouths. Alligators have small ears but large mouths. Anyone who wants to succeed – should strive to be an elephant, not an alligator.
by Annette Wynne
The elephant is very large
And clumsy as a wooden barge,
With legs like tree-trunks, yet he's mild
And gentle as a little child.
The elephant walks far away
And sees strange children in their play,
And carries logs and iron bars
As easily as motor-cars.
The elephant's a great big beast—
Not beautiful, but good, at least,
Strong as a tree, but withal mild
And gentle as a little child.
Cher - Song For The Lonely
Simon & Garfunkel : El Condor Pasa
Tim McGraw - Humble And Kind
Dana Couey & Doug Harmon recordings available to us
Through the love and generosity of Doug Harman, he has made these recordings available to us for our personal use - and for our celebrations.
We thank Doug for his generosity in sharing these songs which feature his beloved Dana Couey and his son James.
Each folder in this library contains at least 10 songs. We will use these beautiful recordings in our future liturgies but also want to make them available for your listening pleasure at any time.
2. Christmas Songs: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1dLgYM46g2inaehFPkpBhdtAkTNT6Z3hk
3. How Can I Keep from Singing: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1giGvu3KWFM1sC4P2dHvPQ7kUyw-Y8n5u
5. Show Forth Gospel: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ZgAv0oGmFqOxEgr0bFB5q1MzrdiCmmD3
6. DeColores, etc.: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/11opQ4m9hUe8lwIzKf-YnY2KTyB5UzUi-
8. Show Forth the Glory: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eh1UdE3zS0vXExYC-Jwnmx8ZIkOdN37F