I grew up in Sacramento, California and when my family would take day trips to San Francisco, we often explored new areas of the city. Once, we happened to stumble upon the bison paddock in the Golden Gate Park. I had never seen a land mammal so large or so magnificent. After that day, my family would make point to visit the bison paddock whenever we could on our adventures through San Francisco. I remember when I was 15, I would peer through the chain link fence, quietly watching them.
I started to study the bison and found that they have qualities and characteristics I wanted to develop within myself. During my research, I found that the American Bison was called “buffalo” because early European settlers thought they appeared similar to the European buffalo and African buffalo. Although the American bison and European and African buffalo are not the same mammal, colloquially, in North America, the term buffalo has become largely synonymous with bison. The following notable qualities have shaped my approach in personal life and business.
One aspect of the buffalo I identified to be so profound was their loyalty. The females and young migrate together. To be loyal to family and friends and to truly know who the people are that support and celebrate me is very important. The lesson here is to know who supports you and know who you support.
The second attribute of the buffalo that interested me was their hair. It’s matted down and often it appears as though they don’t groom themselves. They are comfortable in their own skin and growing up, I too became comfortable in my own skin. Each day, I work to inspire people to be comfortable in their own skin, to like themselves, to love themselves no matter what.
The third attribute highlights their speed. They can run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances. Their stature could seem incongruous with what people may assume about their speed. In this way, I considered if when we judge people based on their outer appearance, we could miss out or be surprised by their skill, talent and brilliance! I choose to be open to experiencing the brilliance in people from all walks of life and appearances. In fact, one aspect of this idea that I enjoy most is actively creating space for people to be their most authentic selves.
The fourth way in which the buffalo inspires me is that it has been said that when a storm is coming, they travel toward the storm because they know it is the quickest way through it. Unlike cows who run away, they face the storm head on. In the spirit of this idea, I run toward my storms, with my closest confidants by my side, open to brilliance along the way, comfortable and confident in my own skin, while bringing out the best in myself and others.
Why is the buffalo pink? I believe all of us are unique; no two people are exactly alike. And, just how we have never seen a pink buffalo in the wild, we may have never met someone exactly like someone else. It’s a reminder to be you!
These are my philosophies in life and I’m thankful for all of the metaphorical buffaloes I’ve met along the way and the buffaloes I have yet to meet.
The Story of the Pink Buffalo
by Piper Ruiz
Piper Ruiz has been painting for 19 years and enjoys working with acrylics on canvas. She loves teaching adults to paint and enjoys running, reading, golfing and a good laugh.
Pink Buffalo also produces running & walking events!
ARTIST & OWNER PIPER RUIZ