Gonarezhou, National Park wilderness for the elephants of Zimbabwe.
Laying in my tent that first night the silence and sound of Africa was something nothing could prepare me for.
In the darkness beneath the thousand stars the ground began to heave and rumble with what seemed to me the earth's breath awakening deep and visceral, as if ground and sky were meeting for the very first time.
I was so afraid. I glanced across to the figure of my tent-mate, Sue, laying asleep on her camp-bed, peaceful and still, surely she would wake, and together we could witness this thunderous power, and I would feel less afraid.
But she did not wake, and so I lay, waiting for what felt like the Mother of all Matriarchs, from the primordial ground, to both arise and descend and I would be absorbed into her Body. Or crushed beneath her feet in one motion of impersonal annihilation.
As the hours of night continued through the passage of my fear, I finally recognised she was awakening me to her Presence. The presence of her ancestors, and the ancestors of her ancestors before beginningless time.
Within her sound was the grief of a suffering and a Will To Live for which I could only bear the edges, but for which I am forever grateful to have heard.
The elephants, the lions, the whales, the turtles, the land, sea and air creatures cry out Hear Us! Hear Us Now! Listen to our Sounds! They are Within You!