Lions in Nairobi

The civilized people have lost the aptitude of stillness, and must take lessons in silence from the wild before they are accepted by it. // Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa

I was tired. The graduate school semester was nearing an end, but final papers were piling up. Work had ramped up in closing out the year, and I’d invested heavily in preparing for the work we’d be doing on this trip.

Not to mention the real issues. We’d spent the better part of the week looking at issues of police abuse of power. We’d seen the bullet holes in the outer walls of Westgate Mall, situated in a busy part of the city that we just happened to drive past on our way somewhere else.

When we decided to spend a few hours at Nairobi National Park — so close to the city that you can actually see the buildings on the horizon behind the animals — I didn’t realize was a reprieve it would be.

There are moments that are hard to believe in. When I look back at these photos, there’s a way in which it’s hard for me to even understand them. That moment, in the golden hour, when two hunting lions turned down our path. A moment that forces you into awe and silence, that momentarily stills the fury of the world.

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