Thursday, June 5, 2008

Africa is a Dark Place. A Beautiful Place.

Africa is a dark place. A beautiful place.

Therein lies the paradox of what attracts us to this land of violence and natural splendor. Each day as the sun rises over the African savannah, nature continues to unfold the same way it has for a thousand of years. Without planning or preconceived ideas life in Africa carries on whether we are their to bear witness to it or not.

Is it not strange how our emotions and perceptions change as nature’s tale unfolds in front of us?

Each year as the seasons pass, rains brings new life to the plains. Young wildebeest, zebra, impala. To whatever end these animals are heading, they form a part of the story that is Africa. We watch with awe and a feeling of humility as herds of these animals paint the landscape and add a richness to the environment that we sometimes take for granted.

Africa however has a way of balancing itself out. Whether from old age or a more brutal end, life will end for each of these animals. That is the circle of life. By looking at nature with an emotional eye, we tend to hope that these animals complete their journey in a natural and humane way. Nature does not follow our script, and emotions does not form a part of this tale.

Lions kill. That is what they were designed to do and this act of merciless violence forms an integral part of the African story. They kill to survive and when we get to witness this brutal force of nature we cannot deny the urge to look away.

Our emotions and thoughts color these scenes with feelings of sorrow, pity and even disgust. The inevitability of the way nature’s play unfolds is sometimes not only difficult to witness, but difficult to understand.

Why is it then that we keep on watching? Keep on going back?

Is it perhaps because we feel that we are a part of Africa? Perhaps it is knowledge that the uncertainty of life is balanced only by the inevitability of death.

All of nature is a spectacle to behold and anyone who has experienced Africa will know that it touches your soul. It becomes a part of you and something deep inside will always keep on wanting to return to the beauty and the darkness.

We are privileged to be able to experience the magic that is Africa. The beginnings of new life and the ultimate conclusions that complete just another chapter in the ongoing battle for survival.

As humans we are busy creating our own story of inevitability and uncertainty. Will future generations also have the chance to experience and become a part of the African story?

Only time will tell…

As always I look forward to hearing from you!

Gerry

4 comments:

Sandpiper said...

A fantastic post. All wonderful pictures, but that zebra shot is a winner! Amazing and beautiful.

M said...

Beautiful writing and pictures. Thanks for sharing!

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Great post Gerry, very well written and stunning shots.

SAPhotographs said...

More wonderful shots especially the sunset!!