Why elephants?

elephant eye

‘Karuna’ © Natalie Smithson 2014

A decade ago and on my travels, I stood underneath an elephant that was in my care at a rescue centre in Sri Lanka. For such an enormous creature, I was surprised how tiny her eye was. It was like a laser beam, burning in to me as though it were a needle. I craned my neck to see this aged elephant in all her majesty and knew that at any given moment, if she chose to, she could squash me like a fly. Over the years, I have likened that feeling of being so small and inconsequential to life’s harder times. Perhaps when I have been overwhelmed with sadness or difficulty, or a situation has come up that I feel I can’t overcome. Following an unexpected diagnosis of a rare pregnancy condition called HELLP syndrome, one of the hardest times was coping with five days in the Special Care Baby Unit when my daughter was born. This is where she began her journey, starting off small and facing big challenges. She inspires me every day to carry on exploring. I am a Mum and step-Mum, looking every challenge in the eye.

You’ll now find my collection of stories at medium.com/underneath-the-elephant.

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