The things we take for granted, because we know they are there but as we don’t see them they disappear from our visual and mental horizon. The past few weeks I have had the privilege to travel parts of the African continent and after having lived my whole life in one city or the other, saw with my own eye how beautiful and perfectly harmonized nature really is (even though one can’t escape the fact human footprints are everywhere). The spectacular landscapes of Etosha, Namibia will for always leave a vivid memory in my mind. The lush vegetation came to me as an explosion of greens I never even knew existed. And the animals, oh the animals.
We encountered them all. The majestic lion, surrounded with his wife(s) and new born whelps. Herds of zebras and springbok as far as the eye can see. The rare black-faced impala, the oryx that drank water next to our tent in the middle of the night, arriving out of the dark like a silent ghost, the stately giraffes, so beautiful in their amazing coat and length, and so adorable when they try to hide between the acacia trees. The white rhino, mighty and fearful as they broke out from the foliage at high speed just in front of our jeep. The even more fearful black rhino, looking you in they eye while you count the seconds before this so short-tempered creature decides to charge. And the vigorous elephants, impressive in their full height and wait and oh so gentle when you look them in their eyes.
What’s even more impressive is that all these species live in perfect harmony. Something we all know but to experience it first hand is a very different thing. Hunters and hunted. They are all part of the big circle we call life. Predators don’t kill for their pleasure, or for the irrational ideas that other species don’t see the things the same way they do. Animals don’t know religion and won’t kill to defend unproved theories. They simply live and survive. The way zebras springbok, waterbok, giraffes and impalas gather together when a lion approaches, protecting their own and others. That is a sense of social behaviour we, as rational thinking human beings, often have forgotten to practise in our superior lifestyles. And though in the back of my head I knew this, seeing it for real is an entirely different thing, which I know will change my point of view on life forever. We should never ever forget that it is a privilege to be part of this wonderful world we are living in. –BM-
Cover photography by Jorge Pereira
BEAUTIFULMAG | Everything That Is