Tuesday, July 8, 2008

...lion in the grass...

just back from the land of baobabs, lion and elephant. tarangire. a mere hour and a half away from crazy town arusha, and one is inundated with elephant around every bend of the river, lion creeping through golden grass, zebra, baobabs and great rollicking african sunsets...myrtle had her fair share of elephant...we sat on a hill and watched a valley full of them below..it was like watching a fish bowl but instead of fish, elephant. extraordinarily beautiful - and intensely soul refreshing and neccessary.
being in the bush is primordial. it reminds us of our true place; in the natural order of things. we are hunters, from the plains, not free from predation. remember where we came from not so very long ago. this piece of writing is one of my favourite and has lurked in my life as far back as i can remember, reminding me every so often of who i am. i thought i would share it with you. perhaps it will strike something in you. please, all us nyummy mummies, excuze mr ardrey's clear exclusion of the female species in below extract. am sure we are included. feminism perhaps hadn't quite raised her hellenic head when he wrote this.
"...not in innocence, and not in Asia, was mankind born. The home of our fathers was that African highland readhing north from the Cape to the Lakes of the Nile. Here we came about - slowly, ever so slowly - in a sky swept savannah glowing with menace.
In neither bankruptcy nor bastardy did we face our long beginnings. Man's line is legitimate.Our ancestry is firmly rooted in the animal world, and to its subtle, antique ways, our hearts are yet pledged. Children of all animal kind, we inherited many a social nicety as well as the predator's way. But most significant of all our gifts,as things turned out, was the legacy bequeathed us by those killer apes, our immediate forebears. Even in the first long days of our beginnings we held in our hand the weapon, an instrument somewhat older than ourselves.
Man is a fraction of the animal world. Our history is an afterthought, no more tacked to an infinite calender. We are not so unique as we should like to believe. And if man in a time of need seeks deeper knowledge concerning himself then he must explore those animal horizons from which me have made our quick little march...
...we are minor beings before gods as appropriately insignificant as our own imagination. We are transitional species, natures first brief local experiment with self-awareness, a head above the ancestral ape, and a head below whatever must come next; we are evolutionary failures, trapped between earth and a glimpse of heaven, prevented by our sure capacity for self-delusion from achieving any triumph more noteworthy than our own sure self destruction..." - ROBERT ARDREY - AFRICAN GENESIS

pearl spotted owls whistling before dawn under fat morning stars. the low elephant rumblings rolling up from the valley below in the soft twilight and the distant whoop of a hyena. smell of dust and the mirage across the great silale swamp. my soul heaves a great sigh. a great sigh.

my parents left early this morning - pre dawn. of course the driver was late. my dad started getting anxious - bringing on a wheeziness....bah. so called mohammed at like 5 in the morning...driver arrived thank god. we had to call in to see dear dr patalia last night just to make sure that dad was ok to fly. we were worried about dvt's and flying and him not being on his blood thinners for a few days...dr patalia fixed me with his black eyes - that alone put me in my place! and reassured my father that all would be ok....whew. okayeeee...still think dr p is an angel. in disguise.
yup. so they are gone. and i hate goodbyes. i like them to be brief. no lingering hugs, no messing about outside the car. get on with it. quick. go. just go.
just go. safari njema. safari njema....oh oh oh.
Kitchen Board: Tuesday 8 July 2008:

Contributors: Veronica

Comments: if i do another shop i shall platz...but what is life without ovacados and fruits?

bisous x janellex


lorix5 said...

Dear Janelle, thank you for such a lovely post. I don't live in Africa, but part of my heart does. Reading your words this morning while having my first cup of coffee made me sigh also. And smile. And now I'll have this image in my head all day. Asante Sana. p.s. family rocks.
xo Lori

Ernest de Cugnac said...

"being in the bush is primordial. it reminds us of our true place". Right on the money janelle. It's hard to quantify, but much human misery results from our near total separation from mother earth. I was thinking about this only today, that for e.g. a Parisian or Londoner of just 200 years ago would still have been in touch with nature (all food fresh and in season, or dried for e.g.).

Lovely post, elephants, sigh.

http://reluctantmemsahib.wordpress.com said...

beautiful. beautiful words. lovely images. soul-soothing imagery. thank you. i hate goodbyes too.xx

Janelle said...

thanks lori!
and totally agree with you ernest.i know it to be true.
and anthea - THANKS! actually dad is in hospital in sa - on oxygen - and blah and seriously sick...but apparently dr patalia gave him the correct medecines..inshallah...xx bisous xx janelle

Caroline said...

How is your Pa today Janelle?

Janelle said...

still in hospital but on the mend..think he is out monday...its -15 degrees at his house...so best he stays warm in hospital!? XXX janelle