Would you like to go see baby rhinos tomorrow?
Is the pope catholic?
Do I love coffee?
Are leopards Tristan’s favorites?
Need I say more?
If people know me well enough, yes is always my answer to seeing rhinos, especially young ones. They bring me back to a happy place and fill my heart with love and a ton of belief in the possibilities of life. So when the opportunity arose, I went. A three hour roundtrip for an hour of fierce joy.
I tagged along on someone else’s journey for a brief chance of being close to baby rhinos. IIt’s been a very long time since I had the opportunity of touching one as all the one I’ve seen in the last few year have been wild ones, and very closely guarded by their mothers. Rhinos and mothers in general don’t take too well to strangers creeping up to their babies, so can’t really blame them. Not knowing them, or what to expect I was quiet during the whole trip. When emotion overwhelms, I become a mute, I zone out, I expect nothing.
Being close to them was… just as every bit special as I remember. The ear tickles, the collapsing into deep sleep, the whining, the smell, the manipulation, their curiosity, their tenderness. It’s all a treasure.
Although it was so full of happy thoughts, it also left a bittersweet taste. These rhinos we spent our time with, are orphans. Some of them due to poaching, some of them due to natural causes. Despite all the happiness this afternoon brought, there was always a bit of grief and sadness as a back-thought. Grief for our lack of humanity in nonsensically killing these wonderful creatures, sadness because of their loss at such young age, grief for my jeans that ripped exposing my bright colored red underwear.
The good with the bad, never letting the bad take away from the good.