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The Journey – Part 3 Giraffes, gracefulness, lashes and Yoga

  The awesome giraffes, also called  “gentle giant and the world’s most graceful animal” are the tallest animals on earth and can be awfully easy to overlook, since they blend so well with their favorite snack, the acacia trees, due their extra cool flagstone camouflage fur and surely their arboreal heights.

   For me, one of the interesting facts about them, within many, is that they are extremely quiet, even knowing that they forage and chew a whole bunch of their daily time, they do it so with minimal sounds…they don’t whine, nor growls, trumpets or howls; they are very into themselves and their close community, I would say that they practice the art of mindfulness daily.

   They might be a bit reserved, but they are glorious. Watch they walk in grandeur when they swing their long shape embodying an aria in the Savannah with a level of elegance that makes any super model drop down their jaws, especially  when you get a close look into their amazing and luscious eye lashes, ‘Uh lala’!

   But don’t confuse elegance with lack of complexity, because they are a might interesting species.

Like their wild acquaintances, the elephants, female giraffes also form close relationships with one another and they grieve after losing a baby to a carnivore like the lions.

Now, the males are a bit more temperamental, in adulthood, they adjust their sexual strategies accordingly to the local competitors and normally they use their massive necks as sling to slam their heads against their rivals, sometimes even into lethal effects.

I see the ladies as Yin-yoginis and the guys as kung fu-rious.

   Giraffes are scattered across a wide arc of central and southern Africa and they spend a lot of their time feeding, pruning and distributing seeds across the landscape; can you believe that an adult giraffe can consume over 75 pounds of leaves, shoots and vines a day and they have a super cool peripheral vision which is so wide that they can even see behind themselves…wow, wouldn’t that be a cool trait to have?

   Another point of interest is that giraffes have an incredible circulatory system, since they have to pump blood up to 20 feet (from feet to head). They do not have a very large heart, but they have thick blood vessel walls which work slow but effectively to transport the blood around their body through the effects and counter effects of gravity. No wonder they move kind of slow and are pretty calm.

   I would say that this beautiful phrase, I heard once, fits really well here: ‘No need to run when you can be a quiet poem masked by a tree’.

   The tall stature brings them the advantage of being able to see long distance and be aware of predators, but in another instance it is difficult and dangerous for them to drink at a water hole; to do so they must spread their legs and bend down in an awkward position that makes them vulnerable to predators like Africa’s big cats or even the scare by the hippos. The good thing is that giraffes only need to drink once every several days; they get most of their water from the luscious plants they eat.

ps; That’s why giraffes are also known as the great Yogic expressions.

   Through the magic of Nature, a female giraffe gives birth standing up and their young endure a rather rude welcome into the world by falling more than 5 feet to the ground at birth. These infants can stand in half an hour and run with their mothers an incredible ten hours right after birth.

    I recall one day when we walked by this ‘kindergarten plaza’, where about 14 little ones were playing and enjoying each other while several adults were just grazing and caring for them from the ‘heights’…my heart exploded in joy by the scene.

   And last, but not least, no two individuals have exactly the same pattern on their spotted, flagstone camouflage fur; just like us and our finger prints, it is all about our uniqueness !

   We have an immense amount to learn from these incredible animals; and as we walked among them and experienced very close and personal encounters, my heart felt a bit of favoritism to the beauty, elegance and sort of awkwardness of these quiet giants.

   May we keep on protecting the beauty and grandeur of Mother Nature within all her facets.
    With a heart of luscious gratitude ! 
Lydie & Louis
Lydie Ometto

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