I Begin Now (just like the zebra who thought he was a giraffe!)
September 3, 2008 3:00-8:00 am
No lions this morning. Scanning sections between acacia and commiphora trees--trying to train my eye for the eye shine and movement. Instead of simbas, we see 61 dik diks and 32 bush babies (tiny, extremely agile primates with HUGE eyes and ears.)
My favorite moment today: a juvenile zebra standing tall with three giraffes (obviously not as tall!) It's a family. Mama giraffe. Papa. Baby. And then the zebra. The twigas spook a bit, running in their long, slow play mode, and then they settle--standing in a row of three. The little zebra stands 4th in line, on their right. The giraffes oscillate their big ears, listening to our breath, the quiet hum of our engine, discerning what might be our next move. Their tales wisp side to side with alertness.
And there stands the zebra, emulating their body language. Eyeing us with the same concern.
He thinks he's a giraffe! Confident and proud. One by one, the giraffes peel away, as they do in a subtle time-space mode, inch by inch. The zebra stares at us a bit more. I can hear his voice in my head, "So? I'm just a late bloomer. Really, I am a giraffe. I am! I am! I am!"
He twitches his tail, and then he's off--following his family. Following them home. At one with who he is.
I feel a new contentment for who I am as well. My heart is my heart--for all its wild ways. Is freedom just that? The openness that allows us to be as human or animal as we wish? The trueness that allows us to be a zebra or a giraffe or something in between.
There's a bigness in Kenya that has either allowed me to find myself, or maybe to find something brand new that I've become. An acacia seed, dormant during dry season, awaiting the chance and opportunity to arrive--to green up, just as the Tsavo landscape at the beginning of spring time.
I begin now with my arms and heart open wide. I start with a sureness and a hopefulness that I may have walled off during difficult times in life. Endless possibilities for being a good mother. Wife. Friend. Writer. Human being.
I start now knowing that Kenya will return to me often. Whether I am 1000 miles away, or walking barefoot over the crimson soil, listening to lions roar under a canopy of starry possibilities.