For We are Here to Love the World

We pause today to honor you, the Western Black Rhino of Africa. Your feet no longer touch this Earth, and the world is that much more impoverished with your disappearance. We ask your forgiveness, for the ignorance of our species, who hunted you into the void. Your horn, your greatest prize, that unique form which makes you known and loved by children everywhere, became the focus of our greed. Arrogance combined with poverty…the socio-economic as well as that of the mind, heart and soul…leads our species to acts of unspeakable crime. We pause to honor you, so that we may re-member who you were. That we may re-member who we are. That we may act in accordance with the best of ourselves, with our potential, and re-member the true richness of our lives. We share this life with other beings as luminous as you, Rhino. May the act of your leaving serve to remind us all.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

~Max Ehrmann – Desiderata

For there are still some of us who care. Who are awake. Who are not afraid of their own hearts. To you, we send our thanks, our support, and our exuberant shouts of Hip Hip Hoorah! May we all make better choices together. Together, may we walk into the possibility of a flourishing Earth.

My heart feels the all too familiar breaking at our goodbye, dear Rhino of West Africa. May your South African Kin fare a better fate. Much strength to their protectors, and solace to the hearts of all. Guide us now as ancestors, dearly departed, as we hold onto the strands of your existence and weave them into the loom of our collective wisdom. May our tears leave us with clarity, stepping softly into our days with renewed determination.

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8 thoughts on “For We are Here to Love the World

  1. cry. you are so alive right now. these magestic animals are gone, and you are feeling it and writing it and honoring them and it is so moving to read. and see. i am glad to be taking in your words. at a time when i have so few. and i am glad to feel these sad tears, not glad, but appreciative, that i can feel this with you. love. love mr and mrs black rhinos. love so much love. in this dark time on earth. there is still so much love flowing. still there is that, in some places.

  2. Endangered black rhinos is a phrase I feel has been embedded in my psyche for as long as i’ve known what endangered meant. The most beautiful part of the article “announcing” their extinction was the statement that we are stewards of the Earth. It is a title I hope and aim to live up to. Thank you for writing this beautiful tribute.

  3. Luminous…..such a beautiful word to describe this animal. Those photos look like surreal paintings! That quote is perfect….I do so very much need to be reminded to strive. And thank YOU Mary for these thought provoking posts ♥ much love

  4. This post sparked a huge conversation at my house, tears, bewilderment, discussions on human responsibility, on culture, the population crises and then, exhausted from the seriousness of the topic I looked down at the computer and what did I see on my other tab if not the news that the president deferred the keystone xl pipeline!??!!? Such turns of happiness. Ten steps backward, a few forward. These days, I almost feel like keeping a list.
    11/10/11
    -The Westerns Black Rhino is gone.
    + The president defers the keystone xl pipeline
    + Our county extends it’s landbank for another 10 years
    + Abortion is still legal in the state of Mississippi by popular vote
    Things I believe are good are looking up today. But there’s an emptiness the size and shape of a huge mammal in my soul. It’s not a simple calculation, I suppose, but rather something elemental. Sigh.

    Thank you for your beautiful words. I’m going to go offer up some sage for our departed friend.

  5. i’ve been wanting to get back to this post for some time. but i don’t know what to say, of course. the upside down helicopter rhinos are amazing. makes me think of reading in a jodi picoult novel about how turning your baby upside down calms them, and then finding out it does actually help. yoga inversions cure depression (sample size n=1). oh. so. sad.

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