As I indicated in my last Journal Posting, I would be launching the Elephant Cloud Project as a special Facebook Page…and it’s here!
What is it?
In ancient Indian and Southeast Asian mythology, elephants were highly revered and considered to be cousins to the clouds, heavenly titans who brought the rains that nourish the earth. But they were more than mythological. They were real creatures inhabiting the earth and their remarkable size and presence were and still are critical links to ecological balance, providing habitats for a myriad of other species, including us.
Today the earth is heavy from the burdensome needs of human populations. The forests are rapidly disappearing and the creatures of the forests are disappearing because of this dark weight. The wild elephant population continues its decline and captive elephants, whether circuses, zoos, or Asian Elephant camps, are continually bred for human entertainment…and money.
While we put into effect more and more protections for wild elephant populations, poaching for ivory and human encroachment of natural elephant habitat continues to over-shadow our efforts. And while we see an increase in elephant sanctuaries worldwide, offering the best scenario for captive elephants, we also see an increase in elephant exploitation. We must see it and call it as it is—not only exploitation from unscrupulous businesses, but equally from our collective appetite to see the exotic up close, even at the expense of their diminished spirit. And ours.
We need to do better, to work harder to reverse this destructive path. We adult humans, for all that we have and know, have not done well enough. As I have written before, we need to train ourselves, not elephants, nor tigers, nor whales, nor any other wild creature.
It has occurred to me that we might turn back to that part of our utterly selfless and unencumbered child-selves and perhaps the best pathway for getting there is, in fact, through the eyes and minds of our children. They are, I believe, still connected intuitively to that matrix from which we all arrive. Let us appeal then, on behalf of the elephants, to these supple minds participating from the honesty of creative imagination—poetry, stories, and paintings—to help bring us into closer appreciation of this seamless world.
For example, the Elephant Cloud project Team is launching the Project with the help of Hjalmar Boyesen. Hjalmar is eight years old. His father is Alex Boyesen, a British/US citizen and his mother is Duangrudee Saengmuanma, a Thai citizen. Hjalmar has created the first image and, as well, there is a video interview of him, explaining with considerable empathy as to why we need to work harder.
Let us imagine the elephant as grand ambassador to all wildlife, to a world that not only sustains but also embellishes. Nature does not have favorites nor does she hold grudges; she will not protect the elephant from human recklessness anymore than she will rescue us from our own ignorance. The turning must come from within our own understanding.
If you have children, or have friends with children, or if you wish to express your child-self, help us raise up the Elephant Cloud project, and set it aloft into the proverbial winds of hope. Let’s nurture and encourage the unencumbered spirit of children and the child in all of us to help bring us back into earth’s synchronicity of purpose.