Occasionally I get on a flight that can be described as, well… easy. Most are fraught with sweat, but some are just plain fun. On Saturday I flew a group out for a short mission trip with New Directions International. At the tail end of their trip, we flew into the Samburu game reserve. I got to visit with them for the overnight, always interested in learning what brings people out to Africa. I especially like to hear about what God did through them, and in them, while on their mission. I also get to tag along on their visits to the game park… which I never tire of. The parks in Kenya are majestic. We only had a couple hours on the short stay to drive through the park here, but a close encounter with a troop of elephants was enough to make the trip worth it. It was dawn (the best time for pictures) and we caught a glimpse of a herd ahead and far off to our right. So we maneuvered the truck so they would pass right by us. They did, a few of the larger females stopping to give us a look (and a warning, presumably) as the baby elephants just trotted on by, playing with the tail of the one in front of them. They continued on to the river for a drink. Here we watched for nearly a half-hour, the moms encircling the babies, and drinking and drinking and drinking. The little ones kept tripping over each-other, and it looked to be intentional. Getting wet from head to toe, wrestling, bumping, splashing. The mom elephants grunted occasionally as if to say “you kids behave” but they tolerated it well enough. As the line of a dozen massive, gentle beasts headed across the river to the other side, the little ones would double back, getting in one more dunk and splash, while being nudged back on course by some of their responsible adults. I laughed because this family of elephants was not too unlike mine – the little ones acting exactly as Amelia and Zach would. I saw tenderness and wisdom in the adults, and just felt joy watching them. I imagined this is the sort of thing God looked upon when he declared his creation “good.” In a now dangerous and fallen world, there are still remnants of that good place, if we look for them.