Friday, April 17, 2009

The captivity and beauty of nature

I can't help it. I just love parks. They simply are an oasis for me from all that is urban. A place where one can go and just realize there is more to life than work. Daiseong Park, in the heart of Deagu, South Korea. This is a special place for its citizens because it houses their only zoo, so as you can imagine, this place is heavily attended throughout the year by tribes of school children.Often there are many lessons you learn, and though many people go there for a bit of a respite, I found I learned something else that day.
More than seeing the carefully manicured grounds, or the ordered backpacks on park benches that were unmolested.
And more than these scenes of lions and tigers taking their morning naps in the shade of a beautiful day. Though there were many children screaming for these proud beasts to get up, their passive nature amused me. They ignored the chants of these demanding children and merely flicked their tails. The bravery of children to shout at a distance. So I thought about the captivity of these animals, for the purpose of having people look at animals they would see only in the wild. Captivity for the education of others. No matter how beautiful the setting, here these wild beasts were housed to listen to creatures that they would devour.It isn't an original thought. Most of my life I shunned zoos. I think it goes back to an experience where I looked into the eyes of these animals and I saw hopelessness. I saw misery. You can be given everything you need to sustain your existence, even a companion...but where is the joy in being housed, safe from the elements, only to realize you cannot go where you truly want.You may be cared for, or are at the mercy of your keepers.However, this place had a place where the captives could fly and be free. To come and go if they choose. There was not a thing in place to keep them there...just water and food. They remain.They come and breed, eat, and drink; protected with the freedom to fly away. Which would you rather be?


Esther said...

This is so touched, Marilyn !

Marilyn said...

Thank you Esther...been in a serious mood lately, and perhaps looking at things a lot more philosophically.