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Beauty Found in a Startling Sorrow
Submitted: Jul 07, '09
Great Travel Moment
Minutes after a six-hour bus ride from Johannesburg to The Selati Game Reserve, another volunteer and I were stripped of our luggage and rushed into a jeep to witness a lioness hunt that had just been radioed in. After a violent ride through the African bush and an intoxicating exchange of excitement between the volunteers, the jeep came to a jolting stop. Our drivers were speaking in Afrikaans and I didn't notice the fresh prey, a baby giraffe in front of the jeep. Instead I noticed the mother giraffe in the photograph, whose sorrow fell down on me like nothing I have ever before felt. Her confusion and grief at the loss of her young was ephemeral, but it was more compelling than anything I witnessed during my stay on the reserve. I took only this one photograph and spent the rest of the time admiring her majestic beauty through the narrow lens of my binoculars and through her silence.