In harsh times, we all must do what we can to better things. Sometimes lightening the load is the best medicine for ails. During the last three weeks, Jenn and I have been in Southern Africa, immensely enjoying a long-planned trip, which, among other things, included safaris in the bush country of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe (lions, hippos, elephants, giraffes, and wildebeasts, oh my!). While in the last of these notable countries, a healthy handful of our bleary-eyed group roused ourselves at 3 AM to watch the election returns flow in from the western side of the Atlantic. Given our persuasions, it proved to be a weepable tide for those who made the effort, as the last two posts attest.
Yesterday was our penultimate of this remarkable adventure. Starting in Cape Town, we went first to the “Two Oceans [Indian and Atlantic] Aquarium,” then bussed south along the coast to the Cape of Good Hope, the southwesternmost point in Africa before Antarctica. Both at the aquarium and en route to that famed locale (nowhere near as impressive as nearby Cape Point, by the way), we met penguins! The happy encounters reminded me of a post of long ago, “The Importance of Penguins” (#8), and of Mr. Ruskin’s proposed cure for the blues, his tested thought that, when things go bad, “one simply cannot be angry when one looks at a penguin!”
I argued back then that he was right! Now, I’ve found him to be spot on once more, this time in the flesh, or, perhaps more accurately, in the feathers. Below are some pictures which prove his contention. See if, when you finish looking at them, you don’t agree. (Note that, in the last image, the comical soul, who has assumed the role of traffic cop and whose understanding of things eternal is deeper than any of us suspected, is suggesting that we must ready ourselves for a very sharp turn to the right! As well, don’t miss those fab toes!)