Kadin and I had taken her twice before, when she stared at the handrails and the pavement instead of the animals. She was more interested in pictures of animals in books.
But this time she was beside herself with excitement. It was as if she couldn't believe that those animals in her books were anything more than drawings and pictures. She fell in love with the giraffes and stood in front of the gorillas' compound for the longest time. She was simultaneously fascinated and freaked out by the flamingos and the crocodile. But she definitely loved riding around and around on the carousel's painted, plastic animals more than anything else.
The last time I was at the zoo, it was suffocatingly hot. L.A.'s brownish grey skies gave it this creepy, sad coating that made you feel sorry for the animals and for yourself as you trudged up the hills. The trees weren't all that green and the animals looked hungry, bored and lonely. There was only one lion in the lion area and she didn't move. The giraffes were all gathered around a single branch of leaves--the other branches were bare.
But somehow none of this mattered yesterday. The weather was cool and crisp and the trees were lush--some green and some golden in color. And for the first time in three months, I could actually feel something. My heart contracted a little as I watched Sabine ride around on the carousel's plastic zebra. The carousel was perched on a hill, in one of the more elevated portions of the zoo, so it looked like she was flying as Journey played in the background and made me think about how simple and quiet life used to be and how beautifully loaded it is now. And finally, the future seemed brighter than it has in a long time.