lion-hearted

A short while ago there was a you tube video that was circulating around the net.  The video depicted a couple who had raised a lion from a cub and who felt at a certain point that it was only humane to re-introduce this now full grown lion-pet to the wilds.  They took the appropriate measures and the lion was successfully integrated in the wild and had become leader of a pride.

Against all advise from the large animal experts after several years they flew to Africa hoping for a glimpse of their old family pet. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle and a description of the power of love.  The lion having caught their scent came slowly strolling out of the jungle and cautiously made his way toward the couple, who stood there in tears just to see their old friend.  As the lion approached he began to run faster at the moment that he knew for sure that his scent was not betraying him.

The reunion was what you would expect from a big dog that had been lost from home.  The lion jumped and hugged and rubbed his face in theirs; but then to further the surprise out of the darkness came his new wife.  Now the lioness had been born in the wild so their was no way in which she could have known these people, nonetheless, she too joined in the frolic.

How was it communicated to her that these folks were not to be dinner?  What form of communication took place?  Was it as simple as she following the lead of her husband?  Was there some subjective signal much like human would use in a similar situation?  I am not sure.

But to be sure, some element that we humans know as love and trust was operating across the divide know as species.

I am writing this morning from Martha’s Vineyard.  A dear old friend invited me to spend time here in the wilds of human civilization.  We had not seen each other for many years and the reunion was like that of an old dog having found his home after being lost for a long time.  But the interesting part of this is that when I met his new wife, it was as if I had know her for ever.  There was none of the element of meeting a new person.   Immediately we began the relationship as if it has always existed.  The conversations were about getting to know a new person:  Where did you grow up?  How did you meet Michael? Those questions were around–but the feeling, it was like an old shoe…From the moment we met we felt a depth and a loyalty that humans might even call love and trust.

This setting may not have the trappings of Africa but from the point of view of a civilized human–one is hard pressed to discover a more Tuscany like setting with herbs and wildflowers, a sun-drenched breeze and butterflies that glide as effortlessly from one flower to the next like the scent of that same flower glides freely through out every corner of the property.

There are few things in life as important as friendship and none so illustrative of that of a reunion.

Pictures to follow

perseiden sky

perseiden sky

it seems to be impossibly beautiful tonight. peepers and toads competing in evening song–almost like vespers in the stillness.

i could not put myself to sleep. the evening was calling me, as if personally to come and to witness the moss like leaves against the black velvet sky.

i could barely see anything–an occasional acorn fell to the deck and yelled–”it’s almost over, my friend–grab as much of this as you can.”

but the beauty in the night won. i did not stay wrapped up in the dismal facts of life. i rose my head above the fray and called back out of my own silence–”not, yet god! not yet!”

i think it heard me. i think that god responded,

“you are right, fat albert, I am not ready to take you–but don’t think you have a great deal to do with the timing of such things. don’t fool yourself into a melody of illusions.”

so, i took my pen and went back to the blank page that I had started with. i had even less ideas now that i had had this little conversation with the universe….i sat back closed my eyes to the most holy night and let the sounds of the lake carry me back to the arms of my mother. back, back, back–further still until all there was was darkness and the smell of mom’s powdered face against my cheek.

soothing the night, i left the darkness, left the grimacing thoughts of my impermanence and savored the perseiden sky & the aroma of camping fires in the woods near the edge of the lake that had become my home.

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Dr. A. L. Dussault, Mindfulness in Psychoanalysis