Zoo Tycoon ruined me.
Those were my thoughts as I bounced along in the back of a jeep in Kenya last month. I recently started a new job and on my fifth day of work, I boarded a 14 and a half hour flight, direct to Nairobi. The entire experience was surreal and beautiful in every way and I am grateful for the time and space I’ve found to write and reflect.
One day, we went on a safari in Hell’s Gate National Park and Lake Naivasha.
On the drive to the park, I saw zebras in a field next to the highway… just a herd (per Google, it is, apparently, also appropriate to say a “dazzle” or “zeal”) of zebras, munching on foliage and existing.
I looked at them and found myself wondering with only the slightest urgency: “whose zebras are those?”
Who is taking care of those zebras? Does someone know they’re out there? Are they getting enough to eat? Do they know not to run out onto the street?
Ah, but of course. They’re wild animals.
Sometimes, when I look around at the life I am creating, I wonder how it happened. When I sit around a hot pot table (when I have a favorite hot pot spot) with friends and talk about our lives. When I book a flight to visit family. When I have a mental queue of favorite running routes for every distance and when I know which coffee shops have the best vegan pastries. How did that come to be?
Ah, but of course. I am wild and free.
And, just like a dazzle, we belong to ourselves.