This weekend, we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day and the many wonders of the Toronto Zoo. This was Theo’s first time visiting and we’ve been hoping we’d get the chance to experience the zoo with him since he was last hospitalized.
I recognize that this is an anthropocentric view but zoos provide a chance for us to step away from our everyday lives and visit places we have never been and may never visit in our lifetime. As you walk past the Masai giraffe basking in the sun, the poison dart frog conspicuous amongst the rocks, or the snowy owl perched on a branch, you are instantly transported away from home and across the globe to the wild wilderness of the African savannah, Central American rainforest or arctic tundra. Zoos, although highly debated have their benefit (both educational and conservational) and it’s impossible to visit and not be reminded that we humans are simply one more co-existing species, sustained by the bountiful and diverse benefits of nature.
Mark and I both have a deep appreciation for biodiversity, which is why, when choosing a destination for our honeymoon, we decided unequivocally on Costa Rica. We stayed at an eco lodge in the middle of the rainforest where the scarlet macaws are ubiquitous overhead, the insects are breathtaking, and you’re awoken to the sound of howler monkeys each morning. Although our plan is for Theo to experience as much as possible during his shortened life span, I often get disheartened when I realize that he won’t get the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Costa Rica (or any other country for that matter). For this reason, our trip to the zoo was so much more than just a walk past the many exhibits, it was a chance for Mark and I to travel with Theo across the globe and experience and embrace the wonder of nature together.
Today’s miracle was a much-anticipated trip with our son to the local zoo…and around the globe.