“That Story Lady”

Angela Scott, Author – Storyteller – Ventriloquist

Listening With My Eyes – Watching an Elephant Stand Beside the Still Water

February 5, 2010

After attending an early morning church service, we found ourselves walking in the midst of an afternoon so beautiful, it almost took my breath away.

Basking in the warm sunshine beneath the clear blue sky, something told me it was too early in February for such a warm day in the middle of winter. I knew this was a moment of serendipity.

It was a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon in February last year when we visited the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. With my digital camera in hand, I plotted my strategy to photograph the statuesque giraffes. Much to my surprise, the elephants captured my undivided attention.

Two elephants began walking toward us. One elephant walked beside the water and began drinking. The other elephant walked alongside the border of trees farther away from us but still within clear sight.

Right before my eyes, the elephant positioned himself parallel with the water as he drank. It was almost as if he saw his reflection in the water. It was surreal because the stillness of the water revealed a mirror image of the elephant.

Stepping back from the small crowd, I positioned my digital camera to capture the entire reflection of the elephant as it stood beside the still water. Professional photographers near me were busy snapping photographs; however, I am certain I received a gift the others may have overlooked.

On our way home, we stopped by the neighborhood photo kiosk to process a few prints because I wanted to see if the moment of serendipity in my memory would accurately reflect what I had seen.

Details of the photograph temporarily confused me because it was difficult to discern if I was holding the photograph right side up or down. The reflection was flawless. A temporary moment captured in the photograph gave me a first hand taste of the visual spice of life.

Even though I took the photograph, I could hardly believe what I saw. It is almost as if I had been listening with my eyes. Reeling in the the thrill of holding such a beautiful scene, I felt compelled to share the photograph.

The third time I shared the photograph of the elephant, it was with a new friend I met while attending a workshop for the workplace. She said, “You have to get this photograph in the hands of someone at the zoo.” It sounded like a great idea.

With a smile on her face, my new friend said she had met a fellow from the zoo just one day prior to our meeting. They had met at the same facility where the workshop was held. He had given her an extra business card, which she gave to me. “Call him,” she said.

My new friend at the North Carolina Zoological Society asked if I would donate a framed print of the elephant to their annual auction, which was quite an honor for me, an amateur photographer.

The photograph of the elephant was originally framed so the memory could be given away; however, later on I decided to have a gallery wrap, a 16″ x 20,” made for my own enjoyment. Released from the frame, the elephant looked free as he stood in peace by the still water, a visual buffet for the eyes.

A few weeks ago I heard someone say, “All elephants are gray but not all gray things are elephants.” The experts were right. A picture is worth a thousand words.



Angela Scott is an author who diligently works to encourage and inspire you, and those with whom you live and work to continually find hope.

“Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.”

All writings here are copyrighted by Angela Scott. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

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