There may be nothing more compelling to me than watching my grandchildren (and our beloved children who interact with them) filled with delight and puzzlement as they experience new things
and try to understand what’s happening. One of the places that seems to provoke unending excitement and curiosity is our very own menagerie, the John Ball Zoo. I used to be the one trying to educate my own kids, but now I just love hearing my kids explain things to their children: “The chimps are kissing each other! Isn’t that sweet?” That’s a wallaby. He’s a little cousin to the kangaroos. They live in Australia. That’s a bongo! They’re the biggest sort of antelope and live in Africa,
like where Mama lived when she was a little girl. Do you suppose the bears are telling stories? What do you think they’re saying?The otters are just playing. Sometimes they like a bit of rough and tumble.That’s probably not too different from the way little boys like it sometimes, too! I also love to watch the kids trying to share what they learn as they grow up a bit. Aaron’s boys are really into bugs, so they recognize some types of beetles now. It’s great to watch the kids teaching their younger siblings what they know, too! “Lions go RRRROARRRR!” (Note that Sophie refuses to be intimidated!) 🙂 At the John Ball Zoo, there are spaces for fun depending on how old you are …and places for fun no matter how old you are! Because the zoo is constantly growing, there’s always something old to enjoy, as well as something new to explore. Jon (my train lover) and his family had never ridden the tram before! There are certain “rights of passage” at the zoo, too! Last time Amélie visited, she was too little to ride the camel,
but this year she was finally big enough… although Sophie still isn’t. She was only big enough to pet the camel! Thankfully, even the littlest folks can interact with the goats at the petting zoo or brush the sheep’s fur. Probably one of the most exhilarating activities is feeding the budgies. With a little help from parents to entice the budgies on to a stick of seeds, nature lovers of all ages find it inexplicably pleasurable to interact so closely with some of God’s beautiful, unpredictable, wild and wonderful creations. Of course, it’s even more of a curiosity and marvel when they fly down and try to decide if your head would make a good nesting site!Nobody who’s very big wants to get up and personal with the tigers, however! No matter how young or old you are, some exhibits are always super impressive! Tigers don’t have to roar to be scary…all they have to do is walk up to you. I love seeing the differing reactions based on age and experience: innocent curiosity (Sophie), boy bravado (age 5, trying to scold the tiger), tense assessment (age 7, ), and studied sobriety (age 9). Every time I’m at the zoo, I’m reminded of how patient God is in teaching me. There are so many ways in which I’m still like a very small child spiritually! This universe is full of things I really don’t understand at all! There are dangers that I don’t fully recognize. I am so thankful for those who are older and wiser and willing to share with me!
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).