Nothing compares to Zambi
I knew it was going to happen. I had no doubt. In fact, when I arrived, I was welcomed by the comment, “you’re with your people now”. They could tell by the look on my face, the excitement and energy that was bursting out of me. It was clear to everyone. I am in love.
You know when you truly find your calling. You can’t hide it. It doesn’t mean you immediately know what to do with it, where to take it, how to protect it, or how to share it. You want to scream it from the top of all the buildings, “listen everyone – I have something important to tell you!”. You know there are millions of people also screaming the same message, just as in love as you are, just as desperate to protect their love. You know you’re not alone, yet sometimes it feels like you are.
I knew it was finally time. That after nurturing (don’t you love how mums can reflect on 18 years of child raising as “nurturing” lol) my child through to adulthood, I would have time to listen to my own soul. To have room in my heart to love again, and to love fiercely. To be ready to be swept up in my next adventure. To know what was important to me.
The moment I touched him, the heat from his body, the muscles twitching under my fingers, his eyes fixed to a tree in the distance, I was captivated. And when I heard him, the sound reverberated through my body and caught me by surprise. I wanted to throw my arms around him and never let him go. Of course, I didn’t. I just kept patting him, transfixed by the consistent rumbling of this purr – the purr of a wild Cheetah named, Zambi.
Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animal and can run up to 110km an hour and there I was, patting him. His two brothers (he’s a triplet) and he arrived from South Africa as cubs. They, Zambi, Asani and Viking, are the hope of their species’ future with more than 6000 left in the wild. They are part of a regional breeding program, striving to ensure their survival. Sadly, as a last resort their only survival may be in captivity. I stayed at Jamala Wildlife Lodge in Canberra – their focus is on the conservation of animals through cash donation to international strategies and breeding programs. Their animals are all rescued from private owners or corrupt circuses and are unable to return to the wild.
I also fed a Sun Bear, and a Tiger. They captured my heart. All the animals, and their stories of being on the brink of extinction, captured my heart. I knew they would. And I knew their plight would stir every ounce of my being into wanting to help. They are the victims of our growing population, our greed to feed our materialistic needs. We must do all we can to protect them. It’s time to turn our attention to the environment, to the animals that need us. There are millions of us wanting to help, wanting to do something. And together, maybe we can.
If something is important to you, grab it with both hands. Research it, participate in it, talk about it. When something is important, it requires both your heart and your head to make a difference. Know what you stand for and know who stands with you. Because life should be full of the things we love, and our pursuits should be for the good of all. Fall in love, with all that is good in this world, and help make a difference.
Until next month, Abby x •