As we waltz through the season of love, we would like to review our top 10 photos that shout out their love from all angles.
Love can be found in all different shapes and forms, sizes and actions. It is not something that is of a constant value or familiarity. It is unique, it is broad and it is a foundation to any relationship.
Valentine’s Day is not only the celebration of love within romantic relationships, but also the acknowledgement of love that is shared in your family, friendships, partnerships and even between strangers. It is a day to acknowledge those that you hold close to your heart and appreciate them in ways that make them feel loved.
Every person has their own love language – how they communicate their love and how they receive and perceive it. The 5 love languages are:
Words of affirmation.
Acts of service.
Let’s take a moment to admire HERD’s top 10 photos that inspire love.
Let’s start of with the love shared between a family. We like to use the phrase ‘you can’t spell family without saying ily’ (ily being the abbreviation for “I LOVE YOU”). Ideally, family holds a strong shared love. There is a sense of belonging and familiarity, from growing up together or taking the journey of joining a new family. Here is the Jabulani elephant herd with their human matriarch, Adine, in unity, showing their respect and trust through physical touch and quality time.
The beginning of love between Klaserie and Zindoga, many moons ago, when the two babies born to the herd were still getting to know each other. We all know the ‘new beginnings’ type of love, young love, whether with your first friend or your first romantic relationship – it is strong, passionate and undeniably beautiful.
Playful love is one that sparks excitement and heart-pounding fun! It is always so beautiful to watch the elephants develop their bonds through playfulness in their bush adventures.
Jabulani, the first elephant orphan, and Adine often spend quality time together in the bush. It is true that an elephant never forgets as we can see here in how Jabulani remembers the path he has walked with Adine and her family, after they helped rehabilitate and reintegrate him, to get him where he is today. Jabulani now shares that love and acceptance with other orphans in his herd.
Mom and me. Klaserie and her mother, Setombe are always side by side and are the greatest show of familial love there is. Setombe is so close to her daughter and is never far from her when out in the bush. Typically in matriarchal herds, the cows stay with their mothers forever, unlike the bulls. It’s comforting to know that these two will remain together, safe and protected always.
Have you ever had a helper, teacher, mentor or coach that you loved dearly? That was Herman to Khanyisa. Herman has been part of Khanyisa’s life since the very beginning and has a special bond with her, one that is irreplaceable. Khanyisa, as we know, loves to show her love with physical touch such as kisses and trunk hugs.
Sisterly love. Khanyisa gives Timisa cheek rubs during their playtime. These two are the best of friends and sisters in their adoptive herd and often spend time side by side. Timisa has given Khanyisa so much support on her journey, someone closer to her own size and age to play with and feel secure beside. It gives us such joy to see them together.
Mothers and daughters… For some, it can be difficult to show love. And some mother-daughter relationships are not easy. But fortunately, Adine and little Sunshine are mostly always on the same page. Now that Khanyisa is older and bigger, she is more independent and spends most of her time with the big elephants, as she should. But she always comes in for greetings and hugs with Adine, especially if her human mom has been away for some time.
Have you ever been so excited to see someone you love that when you see them you just lose control? Welcome to Nandi and Adine’s relationship when Adine comes back from visiting the orphanage.
A protective kind of love is prominent in the Jabulani elephant herd. The cows and bulls are very protective over the youngsters, even though many of them are not biological offspring. This unique acceptance and support for those not born to them, is ever so gorgeous and powerful.
How are you going to show your love to those around you this Valentine’s Day?