A tiny zebra foal, separated from her mother during a treacherous river crossing, finds herself lost, confused, and terrified, surrounded by distress calls from the herd on either side of the river bank.
Searching despairingly among hundreds of creatures, she makes her way back to the edge of the cliff she just conquered, separated from her kin by a river seething with crocodiles and gargantuan masses of imposing hippos.
The foal hesitantly makes her way back down the steep ravine, her fragile body trembling as loose rocks crumble in her pathway. Moments after the crossing has ended, the now deceptively still waters of the Mara River veil perils waiting to smother her innocent life. Observers gasp, willing her not to make the fatal error.
She pauses, unsure, waiting for a sign or an invisible energy to guide her. With the heart of a lion, the zebra finds the courage to jump into the abyss and swim. She harnesses all the mettle the universe can bestow upon her tiny frame, her limbs propelling her forward through the torrents.
A crocodile senses her submerged body and commits to the pursuit. With the passing of every infinite second, the foal’s annihilation approaches. Heartbeats accelerate as the sirens of fate echo through the morose atmosphere. In this arena of death, spectators unwearyingly await their spectacle. Today’s matinée has the few lingering vehicles on the edge of the precipice, unsure what they should manifest — the gruesome kill or the valiant escape.
The foal swims relentlessly. The crocodile advances stealthily. With the precision of a torpedo gliding through the water, the inevitable conclusion nears. Closer and closer the crocodile draws. A whisper remains between the jaws of death and the river bank. Astoundingly, the little zebra finds the strength to make it across and escapes devastation. The crowd erupts into a euphoric celebration.
The zebra stands victorious in that moment, her inspiring tale a testament to the ability to persevere in the face of adversity and what it truly means to never give up, no matter the odds. For the herd, the miracle of survival has given them a newfound sense of optimism.
Nature offers a unique glimpse into the power of the Divine. From the smallest bird to the tallest tree, all living things are blessed with the essence of life and the ability to thrive in this world. The wild is a reminder that there are forces at work that are greater than ourselves.
When there is nothing else to do but give up, hope can be the spark that keeps us going. It gives us the strength to face our fears and push through insurmountable obstacles. Courage is the light that guides us through our darkest moments, allowing us to believe that no matter what happens, we will overcome it.
As the afternoon sun breaks through the clouds, it brings with it a sense of possibility and clarity, offering encouragement to push forward. It is a reminder that no matter how difficult the journey may be, there is always something waiting on the other side.
Photo credits: Eric Averdung, Naheeda Madhani