Have you heard about April the giraffe? Of course you have unless you’ve been living off the planet. Ever since February the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY has had a spotlight (well, just a camera) on April in her pen. Over the weeks, that cam showed up here, there and everywhere! When you couldn’t find it ‘live’ in one place, it was ‘live’ someplace else.
Why does this matter?
It matters because in April’s saga at the adventure park, thousands of people were brought together. No one knew anyone else; and no one knew it would become such a fulfilling endeavor. But it did. And then after a week and a half, when the cam came down on April and baby too, I just thought I would point that out in this little blog piece.
Why should one pregnant giraffe mean so much to people?
April really did become an Internet sensation. Better than most people I know, she had so many of us going in circles just to tune in every day. Why? What was the attraction?
Animals have always amazed me. Their tenacity, their being ‘in the moment’, their utter selflessness; it’s all just built into them. The Animal Adventure Park decided to put a camera in their giraffe barn so everyone could watch as April’s pregnancy advanced, and I’ll bet they never figured on becoming the sensation they did.
We tuned in daily; I know I did, and many of you did, too. We read their daily briefings, watched for signs from April, but no one could really say with any matter-of-fact-ness that “today is the day”. Along the way, we met others from all over the world and the USA.
I’m from NJ, and regularly I saw people from New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Washington, Idaho, California, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and if I failed to mention where you are, let me know! 🙂
There was a power in seeing the same names in the chat every time I logged into the CBS Miami Facebook cam. There were other places to see April and Oliver, but some had thousands of watchers and many negative people. You would make a comment and someone would respond; you would ask a question and suddenly everyone was filling up the chat with fun things to say. Every evening until their cam went dark at 11:00 p.m., I tuned in. Mostly knitting, but watching.
So, how can you (and I) actually use this?
Think about it; there was April every day, just mosying around her stall, which was quite big, watching out the tall upper windows, being fed snacks by the park’s crew, just silently walking and sometimes standing so still for so long, you thought the feed had died. Then there would be that switch of her tail, or you could see the baby move or kick her side, and you knew that the feed was still live.
Finally, on Friday, Good Friday, April started pacing. She paced all day and into the night. She never stopped moving. We knew it was a sign that things were about to happen. Then on Saturday morning when I tuned in early, there were two little hooves hanging from her back area; the birth had begun.
It was so exciting!
And all through her pregnancy and birth, what did April say? Absolutely nothing. She was silent. Silent in her uncomfortableness; silent in her labor; silent in her giving birth.
Then when the little one appeared, all April did was tend to her baby. She didn’t have someone buy her the latest book all about moms on Amazon; she just did what comes naturally. She FELT it, she knew it was what she had to do. Nobody told her, she just knew. Instinct kicked in.
The best part . . ?
We can learn from the animals. Just look at them. Notice your older dog or cat. How they age so gracefully. Not all consumed with themselves, not always looking for the next place to eat or hang out, not consumed with “being popular.” They just ARE.
Quietly, not complaining, not whining, not being all worried about tomorrow. They live in the moment, and sometimes, that’s the best place for you and me, too!
We need to STOP worrying about tomorrow; about those bills we don’t have enough money to pay, about a decision involving a family member that they won’t like at all, about trying to outdo and out-please everyone we know.
Keep this in mind: for all your selfies, your pictures you take every day, April is more well known than any of us. And she did it all without a smartphone! Yes, there might have been a video camera set up on her, but she had nothing to do with it. She is just her regular giraffe self, doing what pregnant giraffes have always done.
Be in the moment for the best way to live simply
Learn to stop being so worried for tomorrow. Or next week or July, when it’s not quite May, yet. Here in the northern hemisphere we are heading towards summer, the best time of the year. Warm, inviting, usually a happy time, an easier time than dealing with winter snow, ice and sickness.
Do with what you have. With what you’ve been given. I’ll bet it’s quite a lot. Count your blessings. Do something that doesn’t cost anything. Go on a picnic. Borrow books from the library. Take your dogs for a walk on the beach or in the woods. Start a new book or better yet, re-read one of your favorites. Make spaghetti sauce from scratch. Learn to knit. And go visit an animal adventure park.
Or, go out on your porch with tea or coffee and just sit. Listen. And sit some more. Watch daylight turn to twilight, then dusk become night. There’s no need for conversation, just deep, deep quiet. You’ll soon feel the day melt away from you. Problems will right themselves, challenges will take their rightful places.
It’s really as simple as watching a giraffe.
A truly guaranteed way to
“Homekeeping Inspirations for Knitting Your Best Life!”