“Without even seeing them, you sense them. Six tons of isolated consciousness, breathing, focusing, feeling — on the grandest scale of all. Elephants exert a gravitational pull they are so massive. Like little Earths on Earth. Even sleeping over 100 yards away, their presence comforts.
A forced meditation for all that surround them. A lesson in patience just to contemplate them. A lesson in gentle relations. A lesson in finely directed intelligence.”
“My hut was the best. It stood on poles to slow the floor’s rot on the always-wet ground. It had two windows — rather than the other rooms’ one — neither of which had screens or anything factory-made or expensive like that,” she continued.
“So it was me, arachno-dude, and within 50 feet just outside of my two windows; eleven elephants all night long,” she exclaims.
“What does an elephant do at night? They chomp big time on the corn stalks we cut in the fields for 5 hours a day — face to the earth and back to the sky. They chomp three at a time for hours, sounding like boards snapping and bones cracking, but no — they are vegetarian like me. Wait — they are raw vegan like me. Elephants eat 300 pounds of raw vegan food every day,” she explains.
Kay continues, “Elephant calves play at night. They hug and tug one another. They practice gentle sparring. And sometimes they get startled by the unseen, like any baby would — maybe a mouse runs behind their feet or something — and they chirp like big birds, kind of squawking and causing a nervous commotion. Until the auntie blasts one resounding trumpet. And they shut up real quick like. When an elephant momma speaks …”
“You can’t see elephants at night. I don’t know how they do it, but the largest land mammal on earth really can just disappear — kind of becomes invisible. Like a shadow — no, a black hole,” Kay explains. “Any light that would be in the area of a night elephant is sucked in towards it with no hope of escaping. The elephant is what is dark and the only way you know an elephant is there is a kind of vibration in the air and a few gentle sounds. I listened to them all night long.”
Kay describes herself as an insomniac and says she is a very light sleeper. “While in Hollywood, I close my windows and turn on the fan and sometimes even wear ear plugs. But I didn’t wear earplugs in Thailand with the elephants. I didn’t cover my ears with anything more than a mosquito net.
Instead, the sounds of the elephants no matter what they were tasking lulled me into an in between world. They drop the grass on the ground, I fall to the ground. They sigh, I am exhaled as moisture into the air. They snore, one long, everlasting lung full of air and I believe I can hear the earth sleeping. Yes, even elephants sleep. I know they do.”
“Unless one was inclined to listen all night, one may never know. For only four hours every night, the sleeping sounds do inebriate. And I was alone, lulled and listening one night, I had to see it to prove it. So I wandered without flashlight as close as I could — maybe ten feet away — and I saw what I needed to see.
Elephants really do lie down to sleep when they feel safe. And they snore an elephant’s snore — the sound of everything all is right in the world.” To learnmore about Tonya Kay and her time spent with thes eelephant beauties pleasevisither website at http://tonyakay.com
Digital Ink: Article Repinted from The Albany Journal, Circus is no fun for animals ~ A lesson in gentle relations by Kristen Taylor, Sept 10, 2009.