In this extraordinary place called Timbavati home of the White Lions where nature reveals a sunset so unquestionably Africa, I sit silently listening to the language of love. A burnt orange sky ribboned against grey clouds, gently sways behind the branches of the deadly still Acacia tree. Its trunk and spindly branches now black as a Raven’s wing, in a backdrop against the amber sky, its thick white thorns, invisible less taunting. The Leopard calls, a deep soft rolling sound, a mother Wilderbeast settles its young for the night. It’s the hour inbetween, when anything could happen. I lean in, and listen to possibilities and potential.
Quite suddenly the sun sinks into the edge of the earth, and we are shrouded in a familiar darkness, a smell so old. I remember my Ancestors, the Bushmen, and the Lions who used to track this land. Chills ripple through my bones as the veil between worlds thins and a breathe disappears into the stillness never to be found again. I settle into a longing so deep, so ancient, my heart overflows.
Without warning a White Lion suddenly appears from the bushes and lopes towards us, its body swaying in a swagger so primal I want to roar. The long white shaggy mane lifts slightly in the gentle warm night and I am aware I am in the presence of something remarkable.
Regeus is followed by another male, his brother Letaba who walks close. The only sound is the pad of their large white paws against the dark brown damp earth. I am stunned and silent, no bone in my body wants to move. I may miss something. The earth seems to rumble as they walk and they settle a few feet away. Letaba behind Regeus in front. He knows his brother has work to do tonight. We all drop into a silence so deep, humans and lions together, and here we begin to communicate with the language of the heart. Azure blue almond eyes, outlined with black liner catch mine as Regeus finally turns towards us. He shape shifts between a Sphinx and a very old man and he is all of it and so much more. ” Regeus is the one who tends to communicate, meditate, It is said they look into the soul. ” says the Volunteer Coordinator, who has worked for nearly two years close to the Lions. Her love for them radiates through her soft German accent.
Letaba hold space, still, behind his brother, as though in reverence for the work that is being done this evening, healer to healer. Regeus has shifted, he settles, eyes closed, paws now turned in to meet each other, and I drop into a stillness I have not experienced before. We are told not to stare them out but to drop our eyes every now and again.
When he is not looking at me, I can’t help but fix my eyes in the darkness, on a Child of the Sun God and I am humbled. I hear, observe and feel from them the language of the heart, unconditional love, right use of power, and respect. Nothing more need be said, it is clear. When they finally move, then we can move, that too is clear. The vehicle chugs and gurgles into life and we slowly drive away silent. I see another world before me as the same trees, rocks and sand hills that I saw earlier, transform into faces, Goddesses, other beings, little people and animals. Magic awaits as the night comes to life ready for some other -worldy antics. A healing has happened, and I smile through silent tears.
Timbavati is the White Lions’ ecological homeland and is also their spiritual home. The name “Tsimba- Vaati is derived from the ancient “XiTsonga language meaning “the place where star-lions came down. Our elder and High Sanusi, Credo Mutwa also informs us that they are known as “Starbeasts”
Please go to http://www.whitelions.org to read more about the White Lions of Timbavati and Linda Tucker’s work to return them to this homeland. Linda’s full story can be read in her book “The Mystery of the White Lions” More Info about the Global White Lion projects, led by Linda Tucker and Jason Turner (who work tirelessly for the protection of the lions) donations, visiting the lions and volunteer opportunities can be found at http://www.whitelions.org. Facebook page Global White Lions Protection Trust.
It would be a blessing if you could join us in prayer tomorrow for a Lioness Nyanga ( Medicine Woman). Please go to the website to learn more about Nyanga’s story, we hope you can support us in anyway possible.
Ubuntu~ I can be me when you are you. Humanity for others
With love from Mbali at home with the Starbeasts, in more ways than I could have imagined.