I'm still reading Love, Life, and Elephants, poking through it intentionally, almost as if to savor it. As I've read, I've thought more about the description I gave of Daphne Sheldrick's life in my post last week. I chose the word whimsical...but why? I asked myself. What is whimsical about living a life amongst wild animals in Africa? I personally am not even fond of camping, so her particular lifestyle should not appeal to me, much less inspire the word whimsical. And then I figured it out.
You see, it's in the way she described the animals. From warthogs, to impalas, to rhinos, to elephants, to birds, she made me see them as creatures with intelligence and purpose. Mrs. Sheldrick does a brilliant job of describing the individual and unique personalities of all her beloved orphans. I was shocked that these wild animals could enjoy biscuits at teatime and go on afternoon walks with her. In fact, the life she described reminded me very much of Snow White and all the animals that would flock around her in the woods outside the cottage. Or even Cinderella with her birds and mice. Completely whimsical and fanciful - at least from a readers perspective!
I've also been thinking a lot about Mrs. Sheldrick, and how she has lived a life of such importance, doing so much good. I wondered, when I get to the end of my life, will I have anything to say? Will I have experienced enough and done enough that I could write a memoir? And then I realized, I already am. Here. On this blog. For the past seven years I have kept a record of my life; my thoughts, my experiences, my struggles, and my triumphs. And while I am not being decorated by the queen or earning honorary doctorates as Mrs. Sheldrick has, I am living a life that I feel is of worth. I am caring for a child who cannot and never will be able to care for herself. I have provided a home for a little girl who was all alone in the world. I am teaching my children to discover their talents and explore the life they have been blessed with. I am making music; practicing and performing and teaching. I am doing the small things that I feel I am supposed to be doing, making my mark in the world. And as I do all these things, I write about them and publish them here, in this space, so that one day, when the time comes to write the history of my life, I can smile and know that it is already done.
This is my memoir.