Many people have had the opportunity to reconsider their lives and relationships with the people in their immediate environment due to the widespread coronavirus pandemic. In the end, it’s always easier to appreciate things when they are suddenly taken away from you, even if it’s only temporary, as opposed to enjoying them. At the same time, you still have them in your possession. As a result, it should come as no surprise that the majority of us are seeking the company of other people now, maybe more than at any additional time in history and that we are looking for ways to have positive social experiences while yet adhering to the norms of social distance.
It would appear, however, that during trying times, humans are not the only creatures who seek solace in the arms of one another. Tobias Baumgaertner, a photographer, took a picture that will never be repeated of two widowed penguins comforting and caressing one other while looking out at the cityscape of Melbourne.
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Recently, Australian photographer Tobias Baumgaertner published a touching photo on his Instagram account of two penguins that had lost their mates and were looking out over the city of Melbourne.
Those who can be with the person(s) or people(s) whom they love the most are the ones who can consider themselves to be the luckiest during times like these. A little over a year ago, I could catch this moment. These two Fairy penguins had been standing there for hours, flipper in flipper, observing the shimmering lights of the cityscape and ocean. They were perched on a rock that overlooked the Melbourne skyline. A volunteer came up to me and told me that the person in white was an older lady who had recently lost her partner and that the younger man to her left had also reportedly lost his husband. Since then, they frequently get together to console one another and spend hours standing close while gazing at the city lights in the distance. Before taking this photograph, I stayed with this colony of penguins for a total of three nights. I was not permitted to use any lights, which made it difficult to capture a shot. The little penguins were constantly moving around, rubbing their flippers on each other’s backs, and cleaning each other. However, I got lucky during one wonderful moment and was able to capture a good photo. Tobias posted a message on Instagram that read, “I hope you love this moment as much as I did.”
Tobias was informed by volunteers that the penguins developed their bond after suffering the loss of their companions and that they now get together frequently to console one another.
How these two lovebirds cared for one another stood out from the rest of the colony as noteworthy. The other penguins were either napping or moving around. Still, those two appeared content to stand there and take advantage of every moment they could spend with each other, clinging to one other by their flippers and chatting about various topics related to penguins.
The shared experience of suffering brought them together; I guess it’s true that you may discover love in the most unexpected places. The photographer further shared that “to love someone is a privilege truly, and to have that person love you in return is paradisiacal.”