Ordinary World

April the Giraffe with her yet-to-be named Calf / Photo courtesy of unknown (04-2017)

Have you heard?

It’s a boy for Oliver and April!

The May-December romance begat a 129 pound, five feet nine inches tall healthy baby on April 15, 2017 at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY.

Ordinarily, a Giraffidae gestation period lasts 13-15 months (Wikipedia.org). But this pregnancy stretched-and stretched-and…to nearly 16. So, the due date of April 1, found everyone fooled.

Although usa.today.com reported that over 1.2 million people watched the birth live on YouTube and over 750,000 watched from the zoo’s Facebook page, I would have remained oblivious.


A few months ago, during a routine haircut, my lovely friend and stylist, Shawna, excitedly shared with me about the giraffe cam she (and a great thousand’s of others!) had discovered.

As we spent more time together, the topic naturally came up in conversation, and so what normally only happens in the far-away and exotic African countries of Niger, Zimababwe, Tanzania, and Kenya became of interest to me, because of my relationship with her.

Standard online research revealed the Giraffa Calfa’s name is up for a vote.

Pix11.com top ten names:

  1. Unity
  2. Patches
  3. Apollo
  4. Patch
  5. Peter
  6. Harpur
  7. Geoffrey
  8. Noah
  9. Ollie
  10. Alyssa’s choice

Being late to the party, per usual, my choice won’t even be considered:  Kungoja, the everyday Swahili word for wait. Kungi or even Goj for short could work, right?

But I can’t wait to tell my nzuri rafiki (Swahili for beautiful friend)!

What fun to pass on to her all I’ve learned: Each individual giraffe has a unique coat pattern. Like a zebra’s stripes or a Dalmatians’ spots.

In the day-to-day drudge of sick-sad-news and typical tasks, I think it would be fair to say that most of us dream of Love. Freedom. Something to awaken our spirits and lift us above the mundane while linking us together.

An average giraffe doing what all Mama mammals do, bringing everyday people together.

Not so ordinary, after all.

I love how Ann Voskamp’s New York Times Best Selling book, one thousand gifts, “dared readers to live fully right where you are.”

“Like most, she hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists about once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

‘How,’ Voskamp wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama and daily duties? What does a life of gratitude look like when your days are gritty, long, and sometimes dark? What is God providing here and now?'”

Not long ago, my youngest son answered in a similar way, when I asked what he would tell his friends to encourage them:

First, he told me to find Ben Howard’s video on YouTube, spurring others to, “Keep your head up. Keep your heart strong. Keep your mind set.”

What fun and check!

Then he said to name three things/blessings you’re thankful for.

  • God
  • Family
  • Friends


Lastly, pick one goal you will accomplish today.

“The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”


I’ll be watching. Looking. Waiting.

Because the ordinary really can be extraordinary.













Author: Glenda Zylinski

Glenda Zylinski lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Paul. They have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

4 thoughts on “Ordinary World”

  1. I didn’t know about the new little giraffe either, until I read your post! 129 lbs at birth, eh? Wow! I’m wishing I could have watched the giraffe cam for awhile, but then I’m glad I didn’t – I kind of get attached to those things, hating to miss a second!

    I like your point about living life to the fullest, which is promised to us by our Heavenly Father – abundant life! It doesn’t have to be something huge to be abundant. Abundance is right on your house, with the little dove eggs. Watching, waiting, praying for them. How awesome that God chose your home for that dove to build a little home of her own. Watching life, new life – that’s abundant!

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