When you cross paths with a lion, you remember every detail from the angle of the sun as it attempts to glint your fear away, down to the exact shade of red of the pebble-specked earth his paws tread soundlessly upon. Not only was I able to live this experience up close, I was able to share our face-to-face encounter with Prince Othawa, a fierce and looming presence at the heart of Londolozi, on their daily blog.
You can read that story here:
Since our time in South Africa I have followed the safari stories of this otherworldly place with hopeful dedication. These snippets of animal life keep my heart dreaming of our return. The drama of the unfolding power dynamics as the beasts of the wild grasp for dominance easily entertains with all the makings of a soapy, serial drama. Some stories light up my day, like with the birth of a new leopard cub, and some hit me dead-center when a cherished animal does not survive the night. This week when I opened my inbox and saw the tagline of “The Fate of the Othawa Male”, my heart thudded to the floor.
You can read about his final hours by clicking below:
It feels like I am mourning a friend. The astonishment he provided for Mad Dog and myself cannot be adequately captured with words. Facing him, not even a breath-space away, turned our visceral fear into whole-hearted communion with the present moment. The fragility of life was never more apparent than in that instant.
We control nothing.
Prince Othawa’s fate was sealed the moment he charged into battle, a lone warrior unaware he would be outnumbered. He relied on instinct as he pushed the boundaries of his territory, believing in the power of his singular strength.
One lesson we could take from this is to never go it alone. But, this doesn’t seem exactly right to me. Prince Othawa died as he lived, walking a path that called to him even when the ultimate destination could not be known.
This is how I want to live for the rest of my days. Though they may be numbered, they are bright with possibility.
Like Othawa, I vow to follow the roar of my heart no matter the outcome.