In the silence by the fire I suddenly heard growling. It was so constant I thought it was a generator on the breeze. It was the sounds of cats mating but without the specific sound that leopards make at the end of copulation. Lions mating.
In line with my family tradition I walked in the moonlight down the road to the camp. The moon was so bright I cast a shadow. I knew if the lions were mating I only need wait a bit and I would hear them again. I stood in silence listening to the Scops owls call all around. Then the sound again. I moved fast towards the lions as I knew they would not hear me. Then I saw them. The air was very cool and the cats stood and began to walk away from me on a hippo path towards the river. Watching them in the night and to be alone was something astonishingly private. No one would every understand how close I felt to them that night. I went back to the fire and just sat there for sometime.
As I do this I become aware of how distracted I was before. This kind of empty fire sitting is a way of being with your own being. Afterwards I went up to the tree and the branches were shadowed on the tree.
I have been reading Bourdain’s books. Little did Bourdain and I know what lay ahead of us that night. At 2am I was awakened by something landing on the deck. A flat thump then a spray starting hitting my face and I got out of bed shouting.
You never know when you will get pissed on by a monkey.
The things you worry about never happen, it’s the things you never thought about that actually happen.
Finally when dawn broke I made a cup of tea and got on the trail of following the mating lions which went on for ages. I lost the tracks but kept persisting until I found their tracks crossing the border eventually.
Technically Im entering a phase now of this ceremony which you might think of as dismount. I need to integrate the ceremony and make sense of it to share with the world.
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