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On my trip to Thailand in December, I had the wonderful opportunity to live for three days at Elephantstay, a working camp and refuge for elephants. Each of us had our own elephant to ride and care for—feed, wash, clean the area, and walk her to her bed for the night.

I have always felt a connection to these magnificent animals. My 64 year-old girl, Rosukon, is a wise one. I would stand in front of her and stare into her eye, as close as my height would allow. I was transfixed, not blinking, as neither of us moved. Her brown iris, dotted with golden specks, led me right through the black of her pupil. I felt as though I was witnessing the universe, like I was jettisoned at lightning speed past streaking stars created by her golden specks. I would stroke her trunk and watch her ever so deliberately eat her food trunkful by trunkful. When I rode her, I would lie forward and stroke her trunk and the tops of her ears. I felt a true connection to her, one that I will never forget, and perhaps she will never forget me … after all, she is an elephant 🙂