There are a lot of things that impress me in life. A melodic song on the radio that stays in my ears all day long and makes me smile every time I whisper its tones, makes me want to dance in the street. A simple sentence that conveys the sense of beauty in just a few words. A cheese-pie, especially my grandmother’s one, sweet, crispy … mhm … delicious. A magnificent cathedral, pyramids, Buddhist temples, mosques… Faithful people who can believe and pray to something never seen, never heard, never touched. Or sometimes it is just a simple glass of water after a long hot summer day.
But still – there is nothing like nature, despite the comfort, convenience, accessibility, accommodation and luxury of the human world. A scent of meadow in spring, daily sunrises and sunsets, all blushed, frozen trees, covered in snow, extraordinary shapes of clouds, blueness of the sky, waves, lonely island in the middle of a huge ocean with a small palm for its charming decoration. It seems so effortless, but so incredibly fascinating, marvelous, divine.
—- And here I was, somewhere in Africa, few kilometres from Mombasa, standing in a van while driving on a bumpy and dusty road, watching the landscape, trees and grass of savanna, flying birds, termite mounds. I was relaxed, enjoying, not worrying at all. (I did not think about how I was maybe destroying all that just by being there – all safari tourists forget that.) I let the wind to mess up my hair, the sun to warm up my skin and the red dust to change the flavour on my tongue. It did not matter really. No one could see me, no one could judge me.
The sun was slowly approaching the horizon when I heard someone calling: ‘Look, look!’ I turned my head and, not far away from the van, I saw a group of elephants, all red because of the soil. Well, that sounds like a real cliché but it sincerely was like a dream come true. While planning our journey to Kenya, the most important goal I had was seeing these amazing animals live. Now, they were there, just few metres away from me.
We stopped to observe them closely. The father looked concerned about the audience, he felt insecure so he soon led his family across the road and further away, into the safe haven of tall bush. Since the male was anxious, while trying to protect his family, he came closer to the van. The driver frightened and quickly started the engine. The scene was over.
It lasted just for a few thoughtless moments but it was breathtaking. Just a few seconds of feeling happy, light, when you feel like a part of the nature even if that is a lie. When I returned home, I chose the photos of the elephants as the background on my computer and saved them on my iPod so they could be with me every time I felt blue, remembering me about the things I experienced and about what makes life worth living. For if the sense of myself being alive is not about the travels, adventures and experiencing the world in its fullness, what is then?