Africa’s Animals

Readjustment to life on our continent has held some challenges for me. When I gather myself back up, there are more stories of Africa to tell. For now let me make this tribute to the unfathomable wonder of the animals we were privileged to witness on the Masai Mara. I love this quote that was written on a poster at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage:

For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complex than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.
–Henry Benton

Here are but a few of the animals we saw wandering about in their own habitat, there were many more. I tried to describe to my daughters what it is like seeing thousands of animals living in their own world. It occurred to me to explain that if one had never seen the sky before, no one could ever describe the sky well enough to transmit the experience of it. You could show photographs, write essays or poetry, but not until you stand under the open sky would you get it. It’s the same with this experience. National Geographic does a great job, so do many other photographers, essayists, book writers and poets. But not until you are there can it be known.

6 Responses to “Africa’s Animals”

  1. ljcollins Says:

    Breathtaking! Thank you.

  2. Jeanne Day Says:

    I don’t know of Henry Benton, but he surely is a kindred spirit of those of us who see these beings in their natural world and are simply awe struck. Thank you Tayria for bringing this to us.

  3. Sarah Davis Says:

    I return again and again to look at your photographs, to read your words. And I feel wonder and gratitude. The elephant in particular has settled in with me. Your trip has great resonance and continues to vibrate within me as do your blogs….your writings have such authenticity and clarity. Thank you for making our lives larger through your experiences. I say this after reading your note today on the night of the full moon, February 6. much love….

  4. Sarah Davis Says:

    Correction: it is Tuesday, February 7, the full moon. I am a day off…wonder what that means?

  5. Tayria Ward Says:

    Sarah, what beautiful words you express, thank you so much. I couldn’t be more grateful, just to know that the writing reaches in and creates that resonance. It is surely my hope to create that experience for the reader. You’re very generous to express it.
    Being off a day on the Full Moon, that must mean you’re losing time, which is a GOOD thing! Time is man-made anyway. xo

  6. Donald Z. Hall Says:

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    this piece of writing here at this weblog, I have read all that, so at
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