1 Dec 2022
Yesterday we went to bid farewell to a 52-year-old park that holds a special place in our heart.
The Jurong Bird Park which opened on 3 January 1971 will close on 3 January 2023. Its feathered residents will be relocated to Bird Paradise in Mandai.
In the sweltering Sg heat, the cooling breeze on the tram ride was a life saver. For families with very young children and for the mobility challenged like me, it enabled us to take in 20 hectares worth of sights & sounds of the old Park without feeling drained or left out.
My difficulty in getting on the ride was noted by our tram captain who promptly produced a supportive accessory to facilitate my ascent.
He then communicated with his colleague from the next station who was on standby to assist me by the time we arrived.
He did this for me on top of having to navigate the vehicle, watch out for passenger safety and wipe down a seat that someone had spilled a drink on when it was explicitly stated “No Food & Drinks on Tram.”
I used to think able-bodied people had it easier. I’m sometimes quick to join in berating them for lacking empathy towards the disabled or for not being inclusive enough.
But yesterday after witnessing what a man had to do cheerfully in order to earn his keep, I feel that my comparison was groundless.
That encounter also helps me see that some physical problems are not readily visible to the ones who don’t have them. If we’re looking for help, it is also our responsibility to explain our needs, so that people can choose their responses.
My friends and I cannot recall what we were looking at or smiling about in this shot taken at the Jurong Bird Park yesterday, but we sure can’t fake joy like this.
As we bade goodbye to the Bird Park on the last day of November and welcome the start of December, may I take this chance to wish readers of this post the peace that comes from accepting what cannot be changed, and the joy for the support that eases our ride on our journey ahead. 🙏😊