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.