Silver Mastodon by Ross LewAllen
Some legends say that the elephant is our closest relation to the spirit world.
His main and most accentuated virtue, patience. But -- of what use is this in a world such as ours, a world that is always on the move restlessly from one place to another?
The beauty of the elephant is that it cannot see its tail. It must move ever forward into the illimitable and indefinite future. Doing so, the great, gray eminence blends with the low lying clouds of which it is a herd member.
I am reminded of these things as I think of my friend Ross LewAllen, my cohort in laughter and occasionally tears over these past 40 years wherein we have both taken counsel from the elephant. Let's promise to be patient with each other. We did. We do. We still do. Because I do not feel him gone. I feel he is here, watching, waiting, like the slow moving clouds.
I remember when he returned from Africa and had elephant visions, most of them things he'd seen with his beloved daughter Laura.
I watched a mother elephant
gently lay her tusk
over the back
of her baby
She carefully moved her trunk
from the left side to the right side
of the baby's body
I felt the powerful sense
of touch at work
moving in the night
Kilimanjaro's healing water
fills their favorite swamp
The elephant's night pace
I have seen Ross fly like an egret, white on blue. And I have seen him move like a man on fire. But mostly I see him moving among clouds, in a herd of gray, slow-paced beauties going to where they're going without haste, one step at a time.
Last night, in a dream, the question came up, "Will there be coffee in heaven?"
This morning I have an answer -- sitting in the chair in the sun that Ross liked to sit in while, together, we studied the lilies of the pond.
There are slow moving elephants pacing the sky and coffee such as they have in heaven.
Ross is the witness in my heart.