I must have watched the PBS program on penguins three or four times now. There is something about seeing creatures in a landscape where there are no other inhabitants. There is only the ice, the ocean, and the bare mountain. No human beings. No buildings. Well, of course, there is a camera crew doing the filming. They even have penguin robots loaded with camera that is why we can see them up close.
We watch them cradle their eggs. We watch their courtship and mating rituals.
In one scene, a penguin whose wife hasn't arrived yet from her migratory journey, starts pecking at the penguin robot and makes flirtatious gestures. Then the wife arrives and becomes jealous and so she starts pecking at the robot until it topples over.
But why this fascination? After all, all I'm looking at is a flat screen. There is no depth perception. No reciprocity between myself and the penguins. I turn off the sound of the male narrator and I notice that now the the distance between me and the penguins is even greater. But I can close my eyes and visualize myself being in the Antartic with the penguins. There is a quickening of the pulse as the cold air touches my skin. The tense shoulders loosen up and I let their penguin sounds sooth me.
I long for this sensuous connection to the other beings of the Earth: the air, the sun, the penguins, the terrain, the mountains...
Every morning, I walk out of my second floor bedroom to the deck overlooking a tall fir tree standing alone against the blue sky. I am so grateful that the neighbors that hosts this giant have tended to it.
On the railing of the patio is a twenty-five year old honeysuckle vine that we planted to honor my grandmother. I greet her every morning.
All these meandering thoughts....I hope the penguins know that I am thinking of them and I praise them for being.