Monday, February 15, 2010
I listen to NPR daily and also check their website for national news updates. I saw this story yesterday and found it so heartwarming and mysterious that I had to pass it along. The basic gist of the story is that Barb Smuts, a field biologist, was studying at a mountain gorilla preserve in Rwanda with her friend Dian Fossey when she and a female gorilla locked eyes (generally avoided in the wild but occasionally happens). After a brief moment, the gorilla got up from her group and walked twelve feet to stand directly in front of Barb. The gorilla put her forehead against Barbs (steaming up her glasses) and then put her arms around her in a warm embrace. A little later, the gorilla returned to her group and the encounter was over. So, what passed between them? Did the gorilla sense an emotion (sadness, acceptance, love, compassion) in Barb that allowed for this connection between species? The mystery of this moment enchants me. There are small miracles every day and this would have to count as one.