Updated: Jun 26
Seated under majestic nyala trees, deep in the wild and beautiful home of free roaming big five, a group of people enjoy a social evening. Stirred by the bone chilling shriek of a bush-baby, a few eyes peer uneasily into the darkness. Soothed back to comfort by the gentle call of a square-tailed-nightjar, the conversation re-ignites and glasses clink in merriment. In the far distance a jackal softly cries and a spotted hyena cackles in response.
As the minutes pass into hours, the talk excitedly narrates pictures of past adventures and epics. The conversation evolves to debate of how others have done things and how those things should have been managed differently. Much energy is spent on creating and discussing how they would behave in similar scenarios or adversity. The spirit, and comfort, of the evening allows thoughts, hypothesis and bravado fuelled views to flow freely. Fire is a truly glorious conversation stimulant.
Whilst out on a walk the next morning, the group unexpectedly comes upon a large, dominant resting male lion. From deep slumber, he swiftly springs into full combat readiness. In aggressive posture his tail twitches determinedly and rigidly left to right. Then it straightens, then it moves up then down, and in an agitated second, as unexpectedly as he was wandered upon, the lion makes the decision to charge.
From a place of unguarded relaxedness, within the time it takes to blink an eye, the views so authoritatively discussed as how to best manage such situations, the previous evening, swiftly unfold into reality. A few face the charge head on. In paradox, the greater majority develop supernatural, magician’al properties, coupled with amazing athletic agility, and are nowhere to be seen. Stopping only a few paces away, the lion chooses not to follow through; he angrily backs off hissing and growling. Unsettled to their very core, the group shakingly sit down and attempt to contemplate the closeness of their harrowing confrontation.
The day passes to evening and soon everyone returns to the fire to share their story. Comforted by the flickering soft hue of warm blue flames, the justifications of mysterious disappearances flow fast and furiously. Sitting close together, everyone has lived to tell the tale and everyone has learned. Differently though a few brave souls sit quietly, yet unassumingly confident from the others. As legend has spoken, they have grown from boys to men; forever more experienced, wiser and in touch with that which really is.
The shriek of a bush-baby again causes a few eyes to peer nervously over their shoulders. Imaginations soon settle and glasses continue to clink in familiar merriment. As from nowhere, a south westerly breeze begins to push high cirrus, the now shifting smoke plums stir occupied seats to alter position slightly. It is different, but the same. In the far distance a lion softly grunts.
After Note: This piece was first written in 2009, I have subsequently slightly revised this short piece. The words, although set in the bush, speak to life [work, play, politics’, sport] and depending where I am at the time of reading it speaks differently – Thus “A Tale Of Many Truths”.
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