Why I Write About Elephants

In Africa it is said that a day spent watching elephants in the wild is not counted in the sum of days a person has left to live.

I have witnessed the lives of elephants in Zimababwe, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana.  Alongside them, I felt both small and enormous, all at once.

Now elephants come to me in my dreams and their photographs stare at me from frames on my walls.  Words about them leave footprints I follow across blank white pages.

A Kikuyu elder once said to me, “Man and the elephant, they have something together, eh?”

Together.  Inhabiting the earth.  Lives enlarged.

Larger than Life

View my Home Page for blog posts and for excerpts from Larger than Life: Living in the Shadows of elephants

26 responses

  1. Cheryl – Every year I do a post entitling it “Pretty Feet Contest of…” I wanted to share with you today that I just posted the winner of that contest, and it is an elephant! His name is Nicholas. Here is the link to my post: https://salmonfishingqueen.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/winner-of-the-2015-pretty-feet-contest/ Be well…

    1. Thanks! He is a magnificent guy!

  2. Hi Cheryl. Your blog is wonderful by the way! I am also a lover of elephants, there is something so knowing and wise in their eyes and their beautifully wrinkled skin. I will look forward to your posts and live with elephants vicariously through your blog.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Leanna. You’ll be seeing a lot more of elephants.

  3. Hi, I am so glad i have come across your blog, i love elephants and what you’v written is so close to my heart. My Dad loves elephants and had gone to a number of safaris and would tell us all the stories, but until i went on to Kenya myself last year, i truly understood what he meant. Then my husband and i went to south africa for 6 months, and it was brilliant, in cairo now but yearning to go back! i can spent my whole life looking at them

    1. Glad you found these elephants among the many you’ve spent time observing. Amazing, isn’t it, how much pull Africa has on the heart. If you want to visit the three elephants I write about, check out LivingWithElephants.org. Hope you do get to return.

  4. Cheryl, we are in Zimbabwe and enjoy “elephant watching” in the various parks we visit frequently. Now I understand why I feel younger when I spend a few days at a waterhole!!! I also have a blog @ bushsnobinafrica@wordpress.com where I go on about animals et al.

    Kind regards.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I love blogs that “go on about animals.” And you’ve had many adventures with them! Since all I hear about nowadays are the politics in Zimbabwe, it’s good to read about your daily life. I was in Moremi May-June of 2012 and it was pretty dry. Saw 3 cheetah brothers taking a mid day nap in the hollow left by an eroded termite mound. Your lioness photos are astounding – great camouflage. Glad to make your acquaintance!

  5. I like your angle! I don’t know much about elephants- hoping to learn from you 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully the contents of this blog will teach you much about the most amazing creature on earth. Cheers.

  6. There isn’t a day that goes by without some thoughts of elephants … and hopefully a post from Living With Elephants. We are familiar with the elephants of SE Asia rather than their larger African cousins. One of my favorite moments was an up close and personal with the tip of a trunk … sorta a hot sloppy kiss. Thanks for your posts.

    1. You are more than welcome, Frans. Thanks so much for reading. I, too, wait for the LWE posts, remembering how it is to be there with them . . . .

  7. Sitting here at my desk on Cape Cod I

  8. I couldn’t see where to put comments on some of your other blogs, but I have to tell you that they are rivetting… especially the lions, and the last shot of them cuddled up like two little pussies!!!

    1. Thanks Valerie – that was truly one of those lucky in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time photographs.

  9. So grateful to have found this blog! I am writing a very different sort of story, but this evening wrote a rough draft that says, though in different words, “Alongside them, I felt both small and enormous, all at once.” Your passion shines through.

    1. Thank you! I am on the road, but will check out your blog soon!

      1. Looking forward, Cheryl! Here’s the post I was referring to: http://bit.ly/NZi2yF (The Elephant Nebula)

    2. Thank you for following! I’ve just returned from a 3-week vacation traveling around the U.S. and will be posting more elephant stories soon!

  10. Very nice! And I love their eyes.

  11. I have to admit Cheryl, before meeting you the elephants were always tied with giraffes as my favorite animals to observe at the zoo. Now, reading your posts and seeing your photographs, I find that I’m losing myself on an almost daily basis in dreams and fantasies about visiting the places you’ve been, and meeting the amazing people and elephants you’ve encountered. Thank you for letting me live vicariously through your adventures and I definitely plan on visiting Africa sooner than later – I feel a need to gaze into one of those awe inspiring eyes myself!
    ~ M 🙂

  12. What a great eye and lashes they draw you right in.

  13. I work around elephants in a very different way, in a zoo environment, unfortunately not in their natural habitat, and without sounding ridiculous…. I learn something almost every time I am with them……there is so much represented in those kind, kind eyes.

  14. Beautifully written. So much said with so few words. Lovely.

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