Today is #EmpathyDay2020! And so all day there will be posts about Empathy and love. This is an old post from my personal website, Lizbrownlee.com . (Poetry Roundabout is for ALL poets and poetry!).
The image above was not taken in the wild, it is taken at Bergen Zoo by Sabine Bresser, of N’Gayla, a gorilla who unexpectedly gave birth to twins, one boy, one girl, a very rare event for gorillas.
I chose it because of her incredibly proud and loving smile. She is, reportedly, a happy character.
Gorillas are among my favourite creatures.
To see how gentle they are, watch this short film of a chance encounter two men had with a wild gorilla family in Uganda.
It says it all, really, doesn’t it?
They are immensely strong but rarely use that strength to do harm.
They live in balance with nature, mainly on flowers and leaves.
They are very endangered.
Here are two quotes by Dian Fossey, from “Gorillas in the Mist”, published in 2000 by Mariner Books.
“The more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people”.
“When you realise the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future”.
All life is bound together in one huge link of dependency.
Our food, our water, our shelter, and our lives in every country are bound up in cycles, and one link that leaves a chain can have catastrophic effects on the creatures and plants above and below it.
We should be looking to every loss, every creature or plant in trouble, to see how to help them.
We are stripping the planet. We are destroying the very air that sustains us, and the water we drink.
We do not have the knowledge of contact with the earth any more that gives us the careful path to tread in between taking enough and leaving enough, for others, and for the continuance of our species.
Things that the gorilla knows.
We need to take a step back out of our lives and think about what is really important before it is too late.
Where is it all going to end?
Gorilla (for Julia Green)
A gorilla has massive muscles,
and is ominously dark,
can uproot banana trees
and strip the bark,
but his character is subtle,
sensitive and calm,
his power used for warning,
and rarely to harm,
for his colour has been made
from the shadows in the breeze,
his nature from the sunshine
and his food of flowers and leaves.
© Liz Brownlee
If you value gorillas, you may want to help here: WWF.
.Photo © Sabine Bresser
Information from WWF.