When The Lion Roars

freeimage-4311461-web (1)We were sharing some thoughts on our relationship with nature when I rudely interrupted our discussion with the smell of chips. Sorry about that, but the aroma lured me and I just had to share some thoughts on it. So lets get back to nature.

Laurens Van Der Post is one writer who I believe has the capacity to describe nature in prose so beautiful, that it just oozes a natural spirituality which is profound, yet simple. I’d like to share some of this prose with you. Here’s a piece from his book “First Catch Your Eland” describing the sounds of an African night.

” …there was in these sounds and sights something of the nature of a prayer for a way of life for sheer living’s sake which is Africa’s great gift to the modern world. They made the night a temple and I was always struck how, after the roar of one lion, in the pause before another answered it, all the other voices of darkness, like the crickets which raised their own hallelujahs, would be silenced as if by divine command.”

If you have heard the roar of a lion in the darkness of an African night, you’ll know what Van Der Post means.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in inspiration, Life, Nature, Poetic Imagination, Spirituality, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to When The Lion Roars

  1. darrelhoff says:

    i can just sense that silence 🙂

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  2. It would be my dream to hear that. In symbolism the lion is indeed regal and radiant. It is the most magnificent creature on this earth (at least to me).

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    • Don says:

      To me as well. It is a magnificent animal. I can imagine how it interests you. There is so much symbolism around the lion. Thank you for your comment.

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  3. Fascinating, Don. Although I have never spent the night in Africa nor heard a lion’s roar in its natural setting I can just imagine the magnitude of power by the shaping of Laurens Van Der Post’s words. Great post. No apologies necessary for being sidetracked by the smell of fries, either. You were taken by whimsy which is wonderful.

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  4. Bev says:

    Yes Don, on two occassions I have had the amazing experience of hearing a lion roar close by in the dead of night. Laurens v d Post is absolutely right, everything is silent (except for the beating of my heart) almost as if the rest of nature is afraid to make a sound! It is frightening and yet awesome and makes for some good stories round the camp fire. Thanks again for this post, love Bev

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    • Don says:

      I relate to your description Bev – it is both awesome and frightening. Also there’s something profoundly primal about it. Strange, I was thinking of yours and Brian’s love for the bush when I wrote the post. Nice bit of synchronicity here with you commenting. Good to hear from you.

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  5. nrhatch says:

    Chips are distracting like that . . . so is the roar of a lion. So, in many ways, it was a great segue. 😉

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  6. Yes, Don; I can imagine feeling the insignificance of self in relation to the power of nature/universe as I sit in silence listening to the physical power of the lion’s roar.
    It would definitely have the effect of putting all things into perspective.
    Just as a ‘by the by’…. I really enjoy this feeling. The feeling of being just a tiny speck, one consciousness amid many. It always gives me a feeling of comfort….!

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    • Don says:

      I think it’s wonderful you feel that way about being a “tiny speck” as you describe it, that you feel comfortable with that, Carolyn. So many don’t. They rather feel it as alienation which is sad. Enjoyed your comment – thank you.

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  7. I’ve only heard the MGM version. But that quote creates certainly a vivid impression. I’ll have to read van der Post. It is good to be exposed to the interests of my blogger friends as well as your own expressive writing. Thanks

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    • Don says:

      I think we’ve all grown up with the MGM version. Forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder. He really is worth reading. Thank you for your comment.

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  8. ladyfi says:

    It must be wonderful to hear a lion roar in the night! The chill and the beauty!

    I read Laurens van de Post as a teenager – wonderful writing indeed.

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    • Don says:

      It is Fiona. It’s one of the most magnificent sounds I’ve heard. So glad you’ve read Laurens Van Der Post – a man with deep soul.

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  9. Shweta says:

    Interesting post Don:) I could so relate to the piece that you mention here.
    Although, I haven’t heard a lion roar but a ‘Tiger roar’ yes! twice.The eerie quiet after that confirms as to who still rules the jungle. Want to share my experince on my visit to Jim Corbett National Park.in my country -http://www.unforgettableroads.blogspot.in/2012/07/jim-corbett-park.html
    I liked looking at some of your posts:) so ‘am bookmarking it for visits again.

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    • Don says:

      Thank you, I would love to hear a tiger’s roar. I haven’t heard it roar in the wild. I wonder if it is similar to a lion’s? I’ll certainly check out your post. Appreciate your interest and bookmarking.

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  10. josna says:

    First of all, Don, a eulogy to chips can never be a rude interruption! And second, that is a beautiful description of the silence that follows a lion’s mighty roar in the darkness. (Although it strikes me that the silence is probably a product of fear. Does awe always have to contain an element of fear?) Thank you.

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Josna. So glad you feel that way about chips. Interesting question you pose. Been thinking of that. Does awe always have an element of the unknown about it? If so would there then always be an element of fear? I think there’s a kind of awe where there isn’t really fear, but a kind of deep respect and humility. But then I suppose awe can also contain fear, not a destructive kind of fear, but the health giving kind. Nice question

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  11. Lyn Stephenson says:

    My close encounter many years ago with a lion in Botswana (there was only the tent canvas between us) is still a vivid memory.

    We never saw him, only heard him…and between the roars… his breathing, which in some way is even more intimidating.

    Strangely it is that in-between silence I remember most; pregnant with possibilities,.. dying being one of them! We sat wide awake and wide eyed, the imagination running wild and yet in spite of the fear, wonderfully alive.

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    • Lyn Stephenson says:

      Sorry Don chipping in again…but just struck me how apt your post is in terms of the Secrecy Bill being passed through parliament.

      The lion in Africa has roared again…none may challenge…and all are silenced…

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    • Don says:

      I almost see the picture Lyn. Must have been quite an experience. Interesting what you say about the lion’s breathing. I’ve also found that to be an awe-inspiring sound. I grasp what you mean when you describe being wonderfully alive.

      I love what you say about the Secrecy Bill. The image certainly speaks in to that. Can you believe that after all our country has gone through during the Apartheid era and all the suppression of freedom of speech and everything else during that time – here we go again, and this by a government that prides itself in bringing freedom. I just cannot fathom it. The ANC is becoming more and more dictatorial by the day. It’s extremely alarming.

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