Love (Shared)

From Killing the Buddha

An article on the blurry boundaries of love.


"There is a stork whose yearly migration—from South Africa to rural Croatia—brings him to his destination on the same day, at approximately the same time. Humans have begun to call him Rodan. They want a name for him, it seems, because he has become a kind of inspiration. He travels these 8,000 miles in order to be near his mate, who is called Malena. She cannot fly south with him, in the winter, because she harbors permanent injuries from a gunshot wound. Malena winters at the homestead of a local human, who has been witness to this annual reunion of storks. As of 2010, Rodan had been making this journey for five years. Together the storks have apparently born thirty-two chicks. Every year, Rodan teaches the little ones how to migrate south before the weather turns.

I don’t think I need to explain what’s made so many humans go crazy for this story. But for the sake of clarity, I will wager something: it seems to be evidence that love and devotion are not only for humans. We may, often, call love “divine.” We may, periodically and in a state of crisis, doubt its existence. But a story like this—uncovering love between non-human creatures—suggests that love is so ubiquitous and natural that we can’t really avoid it. Love transcends species boundaries. This stork story makes love seem more omnipresent, omniscient, omnibenevolent—like the divine thing we often suggest it is. We humans love to love love. We love stories that convince us that love is big, inescapable, ready and waiting."