In Honor of the ‘Chief’

Peace-of Eden Series no. 16

Today Nduna was shot, a 50-year old elephant bull, a gentle giant who always courteously communicated with curious caring whenever the game vehicle rumbled and shook into his presence.  He went at his own pace, was his own being.  He took time to greet us and engage eye-to-eye.  He never violated our space.  When we were together, we shared space.  I was never afraid of his great, lumbering bulk.

Why was he shot?  I am not sure, either he was doing what elephant bulls do,  look for females in oestrous in order to pass on his genetic prowess to the next generation, or maybe he was returning to his homeland to die?  Cognitively, I could understand that because he was outside of the confines of the fenced Reserve where he lived, he may be shot by Swaziland officials, because they perceived Nduna to be a danger to the rural farmers in the area.  But as he was followed and monitored he was never seen to hurt anyone.  His only crime was to help himself to a few crops along the way.  In fact for the children of the area he became a modern day Pied Piper, they had never seen an elephant before and tagged gleefully and curiously behind him at a safe distance! 

Today a Spanish hunter shot him through the head. His great bulk lumbered to the earth.  His lifeless tusks and feet traveled back to Spain, the meat off his body given to the local staff.  What remained of this great chief was then shamefully buried deep in the earth where he fell.  Tearfully I mourn his gentle, generous spirit, but even more so I mourn what we have become.

In the late 1980’s elephants were culled in Kruger National Park.  Presently the same debate rages.  Culling is a controversial action.  There are those who believe that if man puts fences around wilderness spaces they should responsibly manage them and they question whether one species, loxodanta Africana, the African Elephant, should ‘destroy’ the habitat in a way that minimizes the survival of other species.  There are others who believe that if elephants were left to manage their own population size, they would do so with conservationary effect.  They believe that when elephants are culled, they breed more prolifically, to compensate for numbers lost, hence culling becomes a self-defeating human intervention.  The latter philanthropists, wildlife conservationists and researchers have found that elephant actions do not destroy wilderness spaces and species, they merely change them from woodlands to grasslands and back again, decade-upon-decade.

It is man who does not understand that ‘nature bats last’! Tsunamies and other geographical disasters level the playing fields.  Although man genetically evolved in soulful and spiritual connection with nature, he has forgotten the cycles of nature - that there are times of plenty and other times of scarcity, periods of life and death, and thus ignorantly create imbalance.  It is man who does not understand the ecological systems that are created when a bull elephant sometimes ploughs down a root-attached tree and provide leaves that buck can feed on, shade for pioneer grasses to grow and new homes for ground squirrels, mice, insects and birds.  It is man who does not consider that elephants can communicate for up to 60 square kilometers in the right weather conditions with their unheard-by-the-human-ear rumbles that transfer from trunk-to-trunk and trunk-to-foot, so when culling and hunting occurs they ‘trunk-call’ others of their own species across many possible thousands of networking kilometers.

In the Zulu language ‘Nduna’ means ‘Chief’.  This is Nduna’s personal post-death, spiritual response through animal communicator, Kerry Kronenberg:

I have passed many younger lazy days in the African heat.  I walked, sometimes with freedom sometimes with shackles.  What I later came to realize was that it was my walk, my path was mine by choice not by fate or destiny. Or rather, that fate and destiny where my own making.  I grew to realize that beyond the anger of victim hood and helplessness was the calm knowingness that comes with ripening years, that indeed all those footprints that lay behind me were where they were meant to be.  Where I intended for them to be.

I saw younger ones come...and go.  I saw what I did not want to see and I felt what I did not want to feel.  The heat began to feel oppressive as the humans drove us deeper and deeper into territory that was never meant to be ours.  Trapped, many of us tried to get out, longing for the freedom of open paths.

This is how I spent my younger days, lost in the difficulty and hardship.  Frustrated and angry. Later in my life, a time came when I saw a light shining through a human man.  This light reminded me that all life is sacred.  That sacredness had been lost while we sat in the balance of destruction and evolution.  In the centre of that light, I was reminded of divine order, and knew that it belonged to whoever took the time to notice it.  I noticed it that day.  I noticed that this man was also living by it and knew that it was his light that awoken mine.  Slowly my old life came back, more like a new life actually.  I began to live from within, where I found my freedom.  All those frustrated days I had tried to walk the path of freedom, only to find that inside of me was the greatest freedom I could ever encounter.

Once I had savored and enjoyed my fill, I knew that the time had come to teach others of my kind about this light.  The more I acknowledged its presence, focused on it and used it, it grew. I knew also, that the time had come to release myself from one form of existence so that I could focus more completely into another.  I chose to die, but at the same time, I chose to live.  Now I occupy space in many worlds, through the physical world I am known by my legacy, and through these words my thoughts are heard and my light extended, so that I share myself now as a LIVING LEGACY.  In the ethereal world, I have found my place in the forest, where the air is moist and the ground is soft.  I have found richness of purpose here, and there are many who share in this lightness, and come here to be light-filled.

I am here  to support, those physical and those not, elephant kind and earth kind with the freedom that comes from remembering our Truth and embracing our oneness.  I embody a light, this light exists within me and through me, and it is awakened in you, for truly we are all extensions of the same Source…the same light.

Sight is not lost to the blind, for sight exists only in the inner mind.’

Hearing the interpretations of inter-species communicators are new to me and I am still understanding and processing my understanding in this regard, I will leave it up to you to make your own decision about whether people and animals are able to communicate in this way.

On a recent ‘Wisdom of Elephants’ Ecotherapy Experience, the participants and I watched the elephant matriarch lead her herd to the lake water to drink.  Almost in single file they made their way down to the waters edge.  Around me I could hear the sounds of the Fish Eagles, an Impala snorting, the whirr of Quella swarm past, and the gentle rustling of wind in the bush reeds.  These sounds seemed to encircle and contain me, they were enriching and strangely harmonious, they were so different to the intrusive or nerve-grating city noises of squealing brakes, metallic scrapes or the angry, frustrated retorts of busy people.

I became aware that there is a linear way of relating within species - the couple and I, connected, on the bench, within families, within the ranking systems in Elephants, Dolphins, wild Meerkats, Wild Dogs, Baboons and within many other animals species with social behavior.  And then there is a circular way of relating across and between species, ways in which we touch and enrich each others lives that we will never fully understand.  Modern Man is the dominant predator on this earth, because of the ‘intelligence’ we possess.  We have the power to shoot an animal as big and as powerful as an Elephant in the head, just because we can.  So, we need to take extra care and responsibility not only for what we do to ourselves and others within our own species, but across species as well!  In the end we need to ask ourselves the following question:

“If we cannot use our reason to hold ourselves in humility and accept with grace our partnership with all the earth (and each other), then we will not be able to perceive that man, like the dinosaur, is expendable.  Ultimately in the vastness of time, man is on trial here, not only as a species, but also as a vehicle to determine whether reason was an advance or a tragic evolutionary mistake.
(Qoute from, ‘MiracleRivers, Peter & Beverley Picford)